On Thursday, Sheryl Sandberg finally addressed the Facebook data breach scandal in a series of interviews with media outlets.
In an interview with Steve Inskeep of NPR, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg was asked what she thought about the recent Facebook/Cambridge Analytica data breach.
“. . . let me let me explain. So in 2015 when Cambridge — when we received word that this researcher gave the data to Cambridge Analytica, they assured us it was deleted. We did not follow up and confirm, and that’s on us — and particularly once they were active in the election, we should have done that. And again that is on us,” Sandberg explained.
She further said that the company still don’t know what other data Cambridge Analytica has obtained and just how much it was.
“We’re trying to do a forensic audit with them, but the UK government is doing their’s first, and we had to stand down — they get priority,” the FB COO added.
In a separate interview with Financial Times, Sandberg was asked why she remained silent about the Facebook data breach scandal over the past couple of weeks.
According to Sandberg, it was a mistake on her and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg‘s part that they didn’t speak earlier. That time, she said that they were trying to make sure what really happened.
“If I could do it over again, I would have gone out and said: ‘Yes we are looking into this and we will get back to you!'” Sandberg told FT. “That was definitely a mistake. That is definitely on me.”
“What we didn’t do until recently and what we are doing now is just take a broader view looking to be more restrictive in ways data could be misused. We also didn’t build our operations fast enough — and that’s on me,” Sandberg said in a separate statement to Bloomberg.
The media interviews given by Sandberg were said to be part of the damage control tour Facebook has arranged in response to dismayed users, regulators, and politicians. Next week, Zuckerberg is scheduled to testify at congressional hearings.
On Monday, Facebook will begin notifying the 87 million users who had their information compromised and given to Cambridge Analytica.