Facebook’s data breach apology drags down shares of Twitter, Snap
Mark Zuckerberg. PHOTO CREDIT: CNN
Mark Zuckerberg’s apology and admission that his company, Facebook Inc., made mistakes in the handling of data belonging to 50 million of its users and which were subjects of a data breach, has sent stocks of other social media companies tumbling more than one percent on Thursday.
Facebook stocks went down two percent after Zuckerberg acknowledged that his company should have done more to protect users’ information from Cambridge Analytica. According to data compiled by Reuters, shares of other social media platforms like Twitter and Snap also traded from a weak spot at market open on Thursday. Twitter dropped 3.4 percent while Snap shed 1.2 percent.
Zuckerberg’s response came after four days of public uproar over allegations by a whistleblower that British political consultancy firm, Cambridge Analytica without authorisation accessed users’ information to build profiles on American voters that were later used to help elect US President Donald Trump in 2016.
In a statement published on its platform on Wednesday, the Facebook founder and CEO called the incident that involved Cambridge Analytica (CA) a “breach of Facebook’s trust,” and a breach of the trust people place in the organisation to safeguard their data when they share it.
“I started Facebook, and at the end of the day I’m responsible for what happens on our platform,” Mark Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post. “I’m serious about doing what it takes to protect our community.”
In 2013, a Cambridge researcher named Aleksandr Kogan created a personality quiz app ‘This is Your Digital Life’ that was installed by about 300,000 people who shared their data as well as some of their friend’s data. The app was able to harvest nearly 30 million US Facebook users’ details.
In an interview on Wednesday, Kogan said Cambridge Analytica approached him to do the work without revealing what use they will be applying the data collected.
“We were assured by Cambridge Analytica that everything was perfectly legal within the terms of service,” he said.
Facebook has seen $49.4 billion wiped off its market value since the story broke. On Tuesday, shares of the company fell another 5 percent in what appears a punishment by investors. The net worth of Mark Zuckerberg has also declined by more than $5 billion since Monday.
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