During a Monday appearance at the ShopTalk retail conference in New York City, Facebook’s vice president of marketing said that the company is “outraged and beyond disturbed” by the recent reports that the firm Cambridge Analytica misused the data of 50 million people with Facebook accounts.
“If the allegations are true, this is an incredible violation of everything that we stand for,” said Carolyn Everson, the first executive from Facebook to take in-person questions regarding the the matter.
At issue are allegations that Cambridge Analytica did not delete improperly obtained user data that it received from a Russian-American researcher in 2015, although the firm informed Facebook that the data had been deleted, CNBC reported.
Recent reports from The New York Times and the Guardian asserted that Cambridge Analytica did not delete the data. According to Everson, Facebook is conducting a “deep audit” to “understand what happened.”
Following the revelations, Facebook has been criticized for being lax about securing user information and for the lack of leadership exhibited by its top executives who have declined to publicly address the situation.
Alex Stamos, Facebook’s chief security officer, previously posted a string of tweets about how the incident didn’t constitute a “data breach” and then deleted them.
— april glaser (@aprilaser) March 17, 2018
Stamos is reportedly leaving the company due to disagreements with management regarding how the company deals with disinformation.