Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) has been under fire recently after a third party firm inappropriately obtained Facebook user data, starting back in 2014. This has given rise to many concerns that Facebook might not be protecting its users’ data.
On Sunday, Facebook said it was conducting a “comprehensive internal and external review” to determine if the personal data of 50 million users that was reported to be misused by a political consultant still existed.
Cambridge Analytica, the firm in question, may have tried to use the data to manipulate voters in the presidential election. Whether that is true is still not clear. It has, however, caused politicians both inside and outside the United States to call for regulations that could hamstring Facebook’s relationships with some of its users.
Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg has finally come forward and broken his silence about how Facebook handles its users’ private information. He said in a Facebook post:
We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can’t then we don’t deserve to serve you. I’ve been working to understand exactly what happened and how to make sure this doesn’t happen again. The good news is that the most important actions to prevent this from happening again today we have already taken years ago. But we also made mistakes, there’s more to do, and we need to step up and do it…
This was a breach of trust between Kogan, Cambridge Analytica and Facebook. But it was also a breach of trust between Facebook and the people who share their data with us and expect us to protect it. We need to fix that….
Shares of Facebook closed Wednesday at $169.39, with a consensus analyst price target of $222.21 and a 52-week range of $137.60 to $195.32.