Top executive says Facebook depends on user data

Mark Zuckerberg will address the recent Facebook data breach with ‘angry’ US lawmakers

However, Sandberg said, the company still relies on users' personal information to keep its advertising service afloat.

Facebook finished another week of bad publicity after its Chief Operating Officer (COO) Sheryl Sandberg talked about the changes it is implementing following the Cambridge Analytica data harvesting scandal.

Sandberg explained that Facebook controls data on users at all times, creating tools so that advertisers can reach consumers most likely to want their product or service.

Guthrie pressed Sandberg for an explanation as to why Facebook "took so long" to address the Cambridge Analytica data breach, which was first reported in 2015. Facebook says the information was illegally transferred to the political marketing firm by an app developer.

While Sandberg said that users would need to pay if they don't want to partake in Facebook's ad-driven platform, the company clarified after the interview that it does NOT offer a paid model and Sandberg "was only speaking in hypothetical terms".


Sandberg's appearance on the Today Show, and Zuckerberg's conference call, came ahead of Zuckerberg's scheduled appearance next week before the House Energy and Commerce Committee. So, it was information people had already listed on Facebook publicly. He also announced tightened restrictions on log-ins. They gave us assurances and it wasn't until other people told us it wasn't true.We had legal assurances from them that they deleted it.

The company has started a data-privacy audit in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica news.

Neither Zuckerberg nor Sandberg have identified those who carried out the data scraping, but outside experts believe they could have been identity thieves, scam artists or shady data brokers assembling marketing profiles. "But what we didn't do was the next step of an audit and we're trying to do that now". To the contrary, I think it's important that we don't all get Stockholm syndrome and let the companies that work hard to charge you more convince you that they actually care more about you.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has also owned up to the company's role in the data-mining scandal and is now slated to testify in front of congress regarding the social media site's "use and protection of user data" on April 11.

Facebook asked several major US hospitals to share anonymized data about their patients, such as illnesses and prescription info, for a proposed research project that hasn't moved forward.

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