Since the news of Facebook/Cambridge Analytica trust compromise came to public notice, CEO and founder of the social media platform, Mark Zuckerberg, has been doing everything possible to redeem himself and his billion-dollar company from the mess, especially as more and more people begin to cast doubt on Facebook’s adherence to common privacy protection rule. From television appearance to print publication, the erring and apologetic founder has been running from pillar to post.
While Zuckerberg has published an apology seeking for the public’s’ consideration and explaining the circumstances around the ordeal, opinion polls recently conducted by Reuters show that a large number of the public no longer trust the company on account of their breach of trust. For many, as much as the firm’s move of publishing an advertisement in some dailies to apologise to users is a welcome idea, it is not completely sufficient to reclaim public trust.
Reuters’ publication revealed that fewer than half of Americans now trust Facebook to obey U.S. privacy laws. However, the trend is not peculiar to America alone; users from Africa and other continents are increasingly ditching the app. Reviewing the aftermath effect of the compromise, about 60 percent of the population reportedly fears that Facebook and other social networks are having a negative impact on democracy.
In a bid to persuade its users in the face of this scandal, Facebook issued a statement assuring the public of its competence to protect their information against future manipulations. Writing on behalf of the company, Zuckerberg apologised for “a breach of trust”, as published by the Observer UK, the New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal. “We have a responsibility to protect your information. If we can’t, we don’t deserve it,” the advert spelt.
The rising fear of many of its users is that if Cambridge Analytica could have improperly gained access to information to build profiles of American voters that were later used to help elect President Donald Trump in 2016, then, no one can be sure of other illegal usages, past, present, and in the future. This futuristic implication is all that is perceived as a major threat.
In Zuckerberg’s explanation, an app built by a university researcher was responsible for leaking Facebook’s data of millions of people in 2014. To this end, he accepted fault and apologized accordingly. “This was a breach of trust, and I’m sorry we didn’t do more at the time,” he pleaded.