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Mark Zuckerberg Apologizes for Cambridge Analytica Scandal, Emphasizes New Prevention Measures

Mark Zuckerberg continued to stress that Facebook is going to strengthen its regulation of the apps it allows to collect Facebook user data in a new interview with CNN’s senior technology correspondent Laurie Segall that aired on “Anderson Cooper 360.”

He emphasized that the rules that resulted in Cambridge Analytica’s ability to exploit the data of Facebook users have since been further updated and restricted, and that Facebook will integrate even more restrictions to prevent to mining of users’ data without their knowledge.

Zuckerberg also reiterated the apology he made in a Wednesday blog post addressing the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

“This was a major breach of trust and I’m really sorry that this happened,” he said. “We have a basic responsibility to protect people’s data. And if we can’t do that, then we don’t deserve to have the opportunity to serve people. So our responsibility now is to make sure that this doesn’t happen again.”

Segall pressed Zuckerberg on what the scope of an investigation into apps that had access to “large amounts of information” before the 2014 rule change would be, which Zuckerberg had promised in the blog post, but Zuckerberg didn’t yet seem to have a clear idea.

“It’s hard to know what we’ll find,” he said. “We’re going to review thousands of apps. So this is going to be an intensive process, but this is important.”

She asked him whether he felt he had done a good enough job “protecting the integrity of elections against the interference of other governments.”

“Well, I think we will see,” he responded. He went on to highlight several elections happening across the globe, as well as the 2017 Alabama Senate race, as opportunities for Facebook to ensure its data is secure.

“We can get in front of this, and we have a responsibility to do this…there’s a big election in India this year. There’s a big election in Brazil. There are big elections around the world, and you can bet we are really committed to doing everything that we need to to make sure that the integrity of those elections on Facebook is secured.”

Zuckerberg added that he would be happy to testify before Congress, but that’s it’s more a question of who is the most qualified and most informed about the issue at hand.

We see a small slice of activity on Facebook, but Congress gets to, you know, have access to the information across Facebook and all other companies and the intelligence community and everything,” he said. “So what we try to do is send the person at Facebook who will have the most knowledge about what Congress is trying to learn. So if that’s me, then I am happy to go.”

Zuckberg couldn’t give a concrete answer on whether Facebook affected the outcome of the 2016 election, and said it’s “hard to fully assess” how all the different aspects of political involvement that run on Facebook — and the bad actors — compared to on-the-ground campaigning.

Segall and Zuckerberg also discussed the potential government regulation of Facebook, an idea Zuckerberg wasn’t wholly opposed to.

“I think the question is more what is the right regulation rather than yes or no, should it be regulated?”

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