Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg Says There Were Likely Other Breaches Like Cambridge Analytica

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"We cared about privacy all along, but I think we got the balance wrong", Sandberg told Savannah Guthrie on the Today show.

Facebook was aware more than two years ago of Cambridge Analytica's harvesting of the personal profiles of up to 87 million users and can not rule out other cases of abuse of user data, chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg said.

'We've seen a few advertisers pause with us and they're asking the same questions that other people are asking, ' Sandberg told Bloomberg on Thursday.

"Safety and security is never done, it's an arms race", she said.

When asked at the start of the interview how seriously she would rate the breach of its users trust, Sandberg said: 'We put it at the top of any scale because we take any breach of trust with users that seriously. "And the answer to that is yes".

"We did not think enough about the abuse cases and now we're taking really firm steps across the board".

She admitted that Facebook "should have" notified users of the breach.

Facebook has been scrambling for weeks in the face of the disclosure of the hijacking of private data by the British consulting group working for Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign.

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to Testify Before Senate
The information was later transferred to third parties, including Cambridge Analytica , in violation of Facebook's policies. Today's announcement extends that policy beyond electoral ads to any content promoting controversial issues.

She added that Facebook believed Cambridge Analytica deleted users' data because "they gave us assurances, and it wasn't until other people told us it wasn't true".

Sandberg was asked by the "Today Show" if other cases of misuse of user data could be expected.

Targeted ads, where businesses want to aim ads at specific users, are allowed, but she said advertisers do not get individual information, Sandberg said in the interview.

"We had legal assurances from them that they deleted it", Sandberg continued. "We didn't. Now we've learned". I'm not going to sit here and say that we're not going to find more because we are'.

The company's shares had sunk 16 per cent, wiping more than $80 billion from its market value since March 16, when the New York Times and London's Observer newspaper broke news of the use of its data by political consultancy Cambridge Analytica.

The professor set up a personality quiz using tools that let people log in with their Facebook accounts, then asked them to sign over access to their friend lists and likes before using the app.

Some investors see the chaos as a chance to snap up shares in a service for which there is scarce alternative, despite rising public scrutiny and the prospect of a grilling from US legislators when Zuckerberg testifies before Congress next week.

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