[AUTHENTICITY CERTIFIED: Text
version below transcribed directly from audio]
Chairman Grassley, Chairman Thune, Ranking Member Feinstein, Ranking
Member Nelson, and Members of the Committee:
We face a number of important issues around privacy, safety, and
democracy; and you will rightfully have some hard questions for me to
answer. Before I talk about the steps weíre taking to address them, I
want to talk about how we got here.
Facebook is an idealistic and optimistic company.
For most of our
existence, we focused on all the good that connecting people can do.
And as Facebook has grown, people everywhere have gotten a powerful new tool
for staying connected to the people they love, for making their voices heard, and
for building communities and businesses. Just recently, weíve seen the
movement and the
March for Our Lives organized, at least in part, on
Hurricane Harvey, people came together
to raise more than 20 million
dollars for relief. And more than 70 million small businesses use Facebook
to create jobs and grow.
But itís clear now that we didnít do enough to prevent these tools from
being used for harm as well. And that goes for
interference in elections, and hate speech, as well as developers and
data privacy. We didnít take a broad enough view of our responsibility,
and that was a big mistake. And it was my mistake. And Iím sorry. I started
Facebook, I run it, and Iím responsible for what happens here.
So now we have to go through our -- all of our relationship[s] with people
and make sure that weíre taking a broad enough view of our responsibility.
Itís not enough to just connect people: We have to make sure that those
connections are positive.
Itís not enough to just give people a voice: We need to make sure that people arenít using it to harm
other people or to spread
And itís not enough to just give people control over their
information: We need to make sure that the developers they share it with
protect their information, too.
Across the board, we have a responsibility to not
just build tools, but to make sure that they're used for good. It
will take some time to work through all the changes we need to make
across the company,
but Iím committed to getting this right. This includes the basic
responsibility of protecting people's information, which we
failed to do with
Cambridge Analytica. So, here are a few
key things that we are doing to address this and to prevent it from
First, we're getting to the bottom of exactly what Cambridge Analytica
did, and telling everyone affected. What we know now is that Cambridge Analytica
improperly accessed some information about millions of Facebook members
by buying it from an app developer. That information -- This was
information that people generally share publicly on their Facebook pages,
like names and their profile picture and the pages they follow.
first contacted Cambridge Analytica, they told us that they had deleted
the data. About a month ago, we heard new reports that suggested that
wasn't true. And now we're working with governments in the U.S., the UK,
and around the world to do a full audit of what they've done, and to
make sure they get rid of any data they may still have.
Second, to make sure no other app developers out there are misusing
data, we're now investigating every single app that had access to a
large amount of information in the past. And if we find that someone
improperly used data, we're going to ban them from Facebook and tell
Third, to prevent this from ever happening again going forward, we're
making sure that developers can't access as much information now. The good
news here is that we already made big changes to our platform in 2014
that would have prevented this specific situation from -- with Cambridge Analytica from occurring again today.
But there's more to do, and you can find more details on the steps we're
taking in my written statement.1
My top priority has always been our social mission -- of connecting
people, building community, and bringing the world closer together.
Advertisers and developers will never take priority over that as long as
I am running Facebook.
I started Facebook when I was in college. Weíve come a long
way since then. We now serve more than two billion people around the
world, and every day people use our services to stay connected with the
people that matter to them most.
I believe deeply in what weíre doing.
And I know that when we address these challenges, weíll look back and view
helping people connect and giving more people a voice as a positive
force in the world.
I realize the issues weíre talking about today
arenít just issues for Facebook and our community. Theyíre issues and challenges
for all of us as Americans.
Thank you for having me here today, and Iím ready to take your