Cambridge Analytica may have data on 87 million users, says Facebook

Silhouettes of mobile users are seen next to a screen projection of Facebook logo in this

Cambridge Analytica may have data on 87 million users, says Facebook

"Since there are insufficient limits on what you can do with personal data, there is no countervailing force", said David Carroll, an American academic who is suing Cambridge Analytica in the gain access to his data.

More than 300,000 Australians may have had their personal information exposed in the Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal, as Facebook revealed the data leak has widened to 87 million users.

During Wednesday's call with reporters, Zuckerberg said Facebook did not initially take a "broad enough view" of what the company's responsibility was when it came to protecting user data. That was a huge mistake. It was my mistake'.

The social media giant is facing scrutiny over its data collection following allegations that the political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica obtained data on tens of millions of Facebook users to try to influence elections.

"Facebook is so complex" it will be a "multi-year effort" with "improvements made each month", Zuckerberg felt the need to explain, concluding an extended conversation with reporters.

"For example, on Messenger, when you send a photo, our automated systems scan it using photo matching technology to detect known child exploitation imagery or when you send a link, we scan it for malware or viruses", Facebook said.

"I started this place, I run it, I am responsible for what happens here", Zuckerberg said.

Zuckerberg, who previously struggled to articulate his position on privacy, said the company will boost employees devoted to security to about 20,000 by the end of the year as well as be open to comply with Europe's strict General Data Protection Regulation privacy regulations everywhere. He says Facebook has to ensure they do. The post also outlines a number of other ways that Facebook is cracking down on third-party access to data.

On Tuesday, Zuckerberg announced Facebook was banning more than 270 pages and accounts linked to the Russian Internet Research Agency which he said, "has repeatedly acted deceptively and tried to manipulate people in the US, Europe, and Russia".

"I'm confident we're making progress against these adversaries but they're very sophisticated", Zuckerberg said. Facebook's other major chat app, WhatsApp, encrypts both ends of its users' communications, so that not even WhatsApp can see it - a fact that's made it more secure for users, and more hard for lawmakers wanting information in investigations.

Interim Democratic Institutions Minister Scott Brison said Facebook's latest update was "deeply concerning".

"Our joint hearing will be a public conversation with the CEO of this powerful and influential company about his vision for addressing problems that have generated significant concern about Facebook's role in our democracy, bad actors using the platform, and user privacy", the Commerce Committee chairman, Senator John Thune of South Dakota, said in a statement.

Nearly always, critics say, the changes meant a move away from protecting user privacy toward pushing openness and more sharing.

Several days ago, we received reports that, contrary to the certifications we were given, not all data was deleted.

Although the company says the policy changes aren't prompted by recent events or tighter privacy rules coming from the European Union, it's an opportune time.

One change, according to Schroepfer, will eliminate the ability to enter a person's phone number or email address to locate someone with Facebook search.

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