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Facebook chief apologizes to EU lawmakers over data leak

The top man in Facebook, the world’s largest social media network, has officially apologized to lawmakers in the European Parliament for a large-scale leak of personal data which reportedly enabled a political consultancy to impact the results of the election in Britain and elsewhere.

According to Press TV, Mark Zuckerberg told a meeting of European parliament leaders in Brussels on Tuesday that he was sorry for the fact that his company did not take enough precautions to prevent others from misusing the private data of its users.

“ … we haven’t done enough to prevent the tools we’ve built from being used for harm as well,” said Zuckerberg, adding, “Whether it’s fake news, foreign interference in elections or developers misusing people’s information, we didn’t take a broad enough view of our responsibilities. That was a mistake, and I’m sorry.”

The formal apology comes months after reports suggested that the Britain-based Cambridge Analytica improperly got hold of the personal data of 87 million Facebook users, including up to 2.7 million in the EU. Those reports said the data were then used to influence elections in Britain and in the United States.

Zuckerberg, who offered his apology to the US lawmakers last month, and other senior officials in Facebook have dodged questions about how they let the massive leak happen and whether the measures being taken to prevent a repeat of the leak in future would be enough.

Facebook has suspended more than 200 applications from its platform as part of an investigation into how third-party apps access user data.

Zuckeberg’s testimony to the European lawmakers comes days before the European Union is going to implement some harsh rules for data protection. Those violating the new restrictions would be fined up to four percent of their global turnover.

In a further bid to appease the EU lawmakers, Zuckeberg said Facebook will remain committed to its European market, saying the company will hire some 10,000 people in Europe by the end of 2018.

The top man in Facebook said the company will also increase its investment in security, a policy he said would certainly affect its profitability.