- People are demanding the man who filmed the killing of Eric Garner be freed with #FreeRamsey Monday 7:36 PM
- Billie Eilish’s ‘Bad Guy’ unseats ‘Old Town Road’ from the No. 1 spot Monday 6:11 PM
- People think Ghislaine Maxwell was Photoshopped in those In-N-Out photos Monday 5:41 PM
- People are transfixed by a TikTok cat dancing along to ‘Mr. Sandman’ Monday 4:52 PM
- Nazi troll pretending to be antifa in Portland gets outed by internet Monday 4:15 PM
- ‘Dear White People’ season 3 reflects the exhaustion of the times—for better or for worse Monday 3:59 PM
- ‘Seinfeld’ and ‘Friends’ fans feud over which sitcom is better Monday 3:57 PM
- Anti-abortion centers are getting around Google’s misinformation policy Monday 3:45 PM
- Twitter, Facebook remove Chinese accounts spreading Hong Kong misinformation Monday 3:41 PM
- ‘Mindhunter’ season 2 offers no happy endings Monday 3:19 PM
- How to watch ‘The Righteous Gemstones’ online Monday 3:03 PM
- ‘Mindhunter’ season 2 brings out the memes Monday 2:59 PM
- Rumor suggests the X-Men might battle the Avengers on-screen Monday 2:54 PM
- The CDC is investigating cases of severe lung damage linked to vaping Monday 2:08 PM
- How to stream the 49ers vs. Broncos on (preseason) Monday Night Football Monday 1:24 PM
But even after all this time, there are still several important questions the social network hasn’t addressed. Fortunately, we got a few answers from the company’s COO Sheryl Sandberg on Tuesday at Recode’s annual Code Conference.
When asked how Facebook failed to protect users from Cambridge Analytica, Sandberg explained that the company was focused on other threats at the time. Citing the Sony Pictures hack of 2014, the exec claims Facebook didn’t have the same problems other companies did earlier in the decade. As it focused its attention on more common attacks, like phishing scams, “we didn’t see coming a different kind of more insidious threat,” Sandberg said.
“We realized we didn’t see the new threat coming,” Sandberg continues. “We were focused on the old threat and now we understand that this is the kind of threat we have.”
Sandberg claims Facebook is now equipped with the knowledge and tools to prevent a similar incident, but she admitted no one knows exactly what data Cambridge Analytica exploited.
“They didn’t have any data that we could’ve identified as ours,” Sandberg said. “To this day, we still don’t know what data Cambridge Analytica had.”
- What is Cambridge Analytica, the data firm connected to the Trump campaign?
- Cambridge Analytica is shutting down following Facebook data scandal
- The fallout from Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica data crisis
“The ability of anyone to know what you’ve been browsing about for years, who your contacts are, who their contacts are, things you like and dislike and every intimate detail of your life—from my own point of view, it shouldn’t exist,” Cook said at the time.
Echoing Zuckerberg, Sandberg said, “Mark and I strongly disagree with their characterization of our product.”
Despite the controversies swirling around it, Facebook continues to grow. It beat Q1 expectations with 49 percent growth in revenue to $11.97 billion and its daily active users increased 13 percent year-over-year to 1.45 billion.
Its financial success raises questions about the potential for lawmakers to enact regulation that prevents it from growing out of control. When asked about the prospect, Sandberg said she expects to draw more questions from regulators as Facebook makes further acquisitions. However, she also said a major acquisition would “probably be allowed” if it was an expansion of Facebook, not part of its core business.
Phillip Tracy is a former technology staff writer at the Daily Dot. He's an expert on smartphones, social media trends, and gadgets. He previously reported on IoT and telecom for RCR Wireless News and contributed to NewBay Media magazine. He now writes for Laptop magazine.