NBC Grills Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg Over Slow Response to Privacy Breach

Posted: Apr 06, 2018 10:15 AM

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg was in the hot seat this week with NBC's Savannah Guthrie. Sandberg and other Facebook officials knew about the Cambridge Analytica breach two and a half years ago. Why did they wait until now to take decisive action?

It was the most damning exchange of the interview, in my opinion.

Why on Earth, Guthrie asked, on behalf of all of us, would Facebook trust the company that had already violated Facebook's principles?

“We thought the data had been deleted and we should have checked," Sandberg said. "They gave us assurances and it wasn't until other people told us it wasn't true."

"That's like someone robbed your house and you're like, 'well, you'll give it back,'" Guthrie noted. 

"We had legal assurances from them that they deleted it," Sandberg continued. "What we didn't do is the next step of an audit and we're trying to do that now.”

Sandberg said they are also working to crack down on fake accounts and reducing the distribution of fake news.

"We should have done this earlier," Sandberg said, but they are trying to make up for lost time.

She and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg take full responsibility, she said, when Guthrie asked if heads are going to roll at the company.

Two billion people use Facebook, Guthrie noted. The breach of trust feels "profound."