Mark Zuckerberg is one of the 87 million Facebook users whose data was leaked to Cambridge Analytica.
The Facebook CEO admitted that his information was compromised in response to a question from Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) during Wednesday’s House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing.
“Was your data included in the data sold to the malicious third parties — your personal data?” Eshoo asked Zuckerberg.
“Yes,” he replied.
Facebook has begun notifying the millions of users whose data got turned over to Cambridge Analytica, letting them know if they or their friends might have logged in to the thisisyourdigitallife app.
Cambridge academic researcher Aleksandr Kogan designed the personality quiz app, and although only about 270,000 people tried it out, the app’s settings allowed it to access friends’ data, affecting millions more. Kogan, in violation of Facebook’s policies, harvested that data for Cambridge Analytica, a political consulting firm that had ties to the Trump campaign in the 2016 election. Of the 87 million Facebook users believed to have been affected by the leak, more than 70 million are based in the United States.
The fact that Zuckerberg’s own information got shared might fuel critics who say Facebook has gotten too big and too powerful. Eshoo, who posed the questioned to Zuckerberg, represents Silicon Valley. She read him constituents’ questions, including one that asked Zuckerberg whether he thought Facebook had a moral responsibility to run a platform that protects American democracy.
“Congresswoman, yes,” Zuckerberg answered.