Facebook has confirmed that the global social media network may have shared personal information of 87 million users, mostly in the United States, with political consultancy Cambridge Analytica, Reuters reported.
The earlier estimate was 50 million. The new disclosure assumes significance because the entire world is hunting for the closure of Facebook. Facebook makes money by sharing the personal information of its social media consumers.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who will be appearing before a US Congress panel on April 11 to testify on the earlier reported 50 million issue, said Facebook had not seen “any meaningful impact” on usage or ad sales since the scandal, although he added, “it’s not good” if people are unhappy with the company.
Mark Zuckerberg told reporters that he accepted blame for the data leak, which has angered users, advertisers and lawmakers, while also saying he was still the right person to head the company he founded.
He said he was not aware of any discussions on the Facebook board about him stepping down, though directors would face a challenge if they wanted to oust him because Mark Zuckerberg is the controlling shareholder.
“When you’re building something like Facebook that is unprecedented in the world, there are going to be things that you mess up,” Zuckerberg said, adding that the important thing was to learn from mistakes.
He said he had not fired anyone over the scandal and did not plan to. “I’m not looking to throw anyone else under the bus for mistakes that we made here,” he said.
Facebook first acknowledged last month that personal information about millions of users wrongly ended up in the hands of Cambridge Analytica.
London-based Cambridge Analytica, which has counted U.S. President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign among its clients, disputed Facebook’s estimate of affected users. It said in a tweet on Wednesday that it received no more than 30 million records from a researcher it hired to collect data about people on Facebook.
Mark Zuckerberg said Facebook should have done more to audit and oversee third-party app developers like the one that Cambridge Analytica hired in 2014.
Going forward, he said, Facebook was taking steps to restrict which personal data is available to third-party app developers, and he said it might take two more years to fix Facebook’s problems.
Most of the up to 87 million people whose data was shared with Cambridge Analytica were in the United States, Facebook Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer wrote in a blog post.