After data scandal, Zuckerberg promises to ‘do better for you’ in newspaper ads

It’s been four days since Mark Zuckerberg released his first statement regarding the Cambridge Analytica scandal, on the very social media platform where the problem started. On Sunday morning, the Facebook co-founder and CEO took to print to release a follow-up apology — a full-page ad in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post. Across the pond, Facebook placed the ad in U.K. publications including the Sunday Telegraph, Sunday Times, Mail on Sunday, Observer, and more.

Mark Zuckerberg Cambridge Analytica apology New York Times
Albert Khoury/Digital Trends
Albert Khoury/Digital Trends

In his initial statement, Zuckerberg took responsibility for the data mining of 50 million Facebook users, and gave a timeline of the events that led to the breach (to catch up on the scandal, here’s what you need to know about Facebook data and Cambridge Analytica). Facebook has since banned the analytics firm and its parent company, Strategic Communication Laboratories. Zuckerberg provided a list of steps the company has taken to secure user data, some of which were already in place.

Going forward, Facebook will investigate thousands of apps and perform full audits on any that show “suspicious activity.” If the developer does not consent to the audit, they will be banned. Facebook will also take steps to limit how much access developers have to your data. And finally, the platform will make it easier for you to see which apps you are using via a tool right at the top of your News Feed.

These steps were more briefly outlined in Zuckerberg’s printed apology:

“We have a responsibility to protect your information. If we can’t, we don’t deserve it.

You may have heard about a quiz app built by a university researcher that leaked Facebook data of millions of people in 2014. This was a breach of trust, and I’m sorry we didn’t do more at the time. We’re now taking steps to make sure this doesn’t happen again.

We’ve already stopped apps like this from getting so much information. Now we’re limiting the data apps get when you sign in using Facebook.

We’re also investigating every single app that had access to large amounts of data before we fixed this. We expect there are others. And when we find them, we will ban them and tell everyone affected.

Finally, we’ll remind you of which apps you’ve given access to your information — so you can shut off the ones you don’t want anymore.

Thank you for believing in this community. I promise to do better for you.

Mark Zuckerberg”

Cambridge Analytica obtained the private information from an app called “thisisyourdigitallife” by Global Science Research. The app was billed as a personality test and was downloaded by some 270,000 users. This download granted the developers access to user data including the city in which they reside, content they liked on Facebook, and more. The company then gained access to the same information from these users’ friends, and their friends, and so on, until 50 million people were exposed.

While there is a growing #deletefacebook movement that includes heavy hitters such as Elon Musk and Brian Acton, we have some steps you can take to protect yourself without having to delete your account. And if yo’re ready to cut the cord, here’s how to delete Facebook from your life.

Computing

Smishing sounds funny, but it’s a serious threat to your phone’s security

We all know phishing is a huge security problem, but most people still believe it’s a problem limited to email. According to new reports, however, phishing scams are attempting to exploit your trust in text messages.
Web

Data stolen from HealthCare.gov includes partial SSNs and immigration status

Around 75,000 users have had their user data stolen from government site healthcare.gov, including information on their immigration status, whether they were pregnant, and partial social security numbers.
Smart Home

Facebook's Alexa-enabled video-calling devices begin shipping

Facebook's Portal devices are video smart speakers with Alexa voice assistants built in that allow you to make calls. The 15-inch Portal+ model features a pivoting camera that follows you around the room as you speak.
Social Media

Facebook Messenger will soon let you delete sent messages

A feature coming to Facebook Messenger will let you delete a message for up to 10 minutes after you send it. The company promised the feature months ago and this week said it really is on its way ... "soon."
Social Media

Twitter tests home screen button that offers more control of your timeline

Twitter recently relaunched its reverse-chronological timeline, but accessing it means diving into settings. Now the company is testing a button on the main screen that lets you switch between the two different styles of timeline.
Social Media

Snapchat’s PR firm is suing an influencer for failing to influence

Snapchat's PR firm is suing a social media influencer for his alleged failure to promote Spectacles on Instagram. Actor Luka Sabbat was paid $45,000 upfront, but the suit claims he fell well short of the terms of the deal.
Mobile

WhatsApp finally gives in to the lure of cash-generating ads

WhatsApp's co-founders always said their messaging app would never show ads, but once the pair quit the company, it seemed inevitable that its owner, Facebook, would find a way to incorporate them.
Computing

Urban legends for the digital age: The best scary stories from the internet

In need of some simple scares this Halloween? We've combed the internet for the best creepypastas, urban legends, and scary stories. From found footage YouTube videos to a deceptively scary wiki, these stories are sure to spook.
Mobile

Shazam hooks up with Instagram Stories for another way to share songs

The latest update for Apple-owned Shazam lets iPhone users share music tracks to Instagram Stories in a few quick taps. To enable the feature, just make sure you have the latest version of Shazam loaded on your handset.
Social Media

Dine and dash(board): Make a Yelp reservation from your car’s control panel

Already in the car, but can't decide where to eat? Yelp Reservations can now be added to some dashboard touchscreens. Yelp Reservations searches for restaurants within 25 miles of the vehicle's location.
Computing

Hackers sold 120 million private Facebook messages, report says

Up to 120 million private Facebook messages were being sold online by hackers this fall. The breach was first discovered in September and the messages were obtained through unnamed rogue browser extensions. 
Web

Switch up your Reddit routine with these interesting, inspiring, and zany subs

So you've just joined the wonderful world of Reddit and want to explore it. With so many subreddits, however, navigating the "front page of the internet" can be daunting. You're in luck -- we've gathered 23 of the best subreddits to help…
Social Media

Facebook opens pop-up stores at Macy’s, but they’re not selling the Portal

Facebook has opened pop-up stores at multiple Macy's, though they're not selling Facebook's new Portal device. Instead, they're showcasing small businesses and brands that are already popular on Facebook and Instagram.
Social Media

Pinterest brings followed content front and center with full-width Pin format

Want to see Pinterest recommendations, or just Pins from followed users? Now Pinners can choose with a Pinterest Following feed update. The secondary feed eliminates recommendation and is (almost) chronological.