The social network, which boasts 2.2 billion active users, has issued adverts in major UK and US newspapers apologising for their “breach of trust”.
Printed on a white background in plain black text, the full-page ad reads: “You may have heard about a quiz app built by a university researched 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.”
The apology was signed off by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
It was published Sunday in three major American publications and in six national UK newspapers, including The Observer.
The Guardian’s sister paper plunged Facebook into scandal on March 18 after publishing allegations that a British political consulting firm had pulled data from over 50 million Facebook users via a loophole then allowed by the social network.
Whistleblower Christopher Wylie, who worked at Cambridge Analytica as its Director of Research, said the data was then used to influence the US presidential election and UK Brexit referendum in 2016.
The revelations and a subsequent television exposé broadcast by Channel 4 led to international condemnation against Facebook and sparked global debates on data privacy.
The US-based technology giant saw its shares nosedive by $60 billion following the backlash over fears it could lead to steep fines and increased regulation in the digital advertising industry.
Cambridge Analytica CEO Alexander Nix was also suspended pending an internal investigation.
Facebook’s advert in full:
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 researched 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 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.