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How Much Trouble Is Facebook Really In?

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After talk about how Facebook potentially played a role in the result of the 2016 election, the social media giant is in hot water again, and enough that Mark Zuckerberg, the well-known CEO, is making rounds of public apologies. The heat this time comes from sources that say the election breach was perpetrated by Cambridge Analytica, a British company that leveraged Facebook to get its hands on “massive data” and potentially alter the outcome of Hillary Clinton vs. President Trump.

Recognizing his company’s responsibility in this giant security issue, Zuckerberg is opening up to the media - and Congress - saying that he is ready to accept what the government deems as “the right” regulation, although no one is quite sure what that means exactly yet.

In a recent interview on CNN, Zuckerberg admitted that what happened is “a major breach of trust” and also that he is “really sorry.” He also went on to say that “everyone whose data was affected by these rogue apps” will be notified soon. Armed with this information, however, it’s unclear what the proper recourse for impacted users will be.

Another question at the forefront of the discussion right now, especially for app developers, tech startup, and digital entrepreneurs, is how responsible should Zuckerberg be for the breach? While most people will agree that companies like Facebook need to do everything they can in order to prevent major security breaches, it’s hard to know which measures could have actually stopped Cambridge Analytica, and which could have been created without the help of a crystal ball.

But, with Zuckerberg admitting that he is “sure” there are people already working to change the course of the upcoming midterm elections, it seems like there’s really no time to wait when it comes to not only answering these big questions, but also taking proactive steps to get the situation under control.

Among the ideas Zuckerberg has presented himself, one of the easiest to tackle is ensuring that Facebook is as transparent as possible, adhering to the same type of government regulation required by other media sources, like print and TV. Although Zuckerberg was quick to add during his CNN interview that it must be “the right regulation” rather than just overarching “regulation” in general.

So while Zuckerberg is hopeful for the future of Facebook, many critics still wonder why the social media behemoth allowed Cambridge Analytica to keep its hands on the information gained by the breach for an entire two years. Although Zuckerberg says he’s prepared to have the company undergo a comprehensive forensic audit, one that would cost “many millions of dollars” over the course of several months, many people are wondering if all of this is coming a little bit too late.

When it comes to saving face, should Facebook be held accountable to the same “reasonable” timeline that the rest of the general public adheres to? Only time will tell, as will the effectiveness of the ongoing #DeleteFacebook movement.

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