Facebook’s ANZ managing Director, Will Easton, has apologised on behalf of the company for any “concerns” stemming from the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
“On behalf of Facebook, I think we want to apologise, and I certainly want to apologise, for any concerns the last week has provided for you guys in the audience, particularly concerns for our users and people across the industry,” Easton said.
He made the apology while speaking on a panel at the Starcom Media Futures event in Sydney yesterday. The event’s audience was asked by Starcom CEO Toby Barbour to not ask Easton questions regarding the Cambridge Analytics incident “out of respect” for the event.
Easton also declined to answer Which-50’s questions on the topic immediately following the event.
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Facebook’s Australian MD conceded the company had failed to meet user expectations around data protection and outlined the steps being taken to avoid similar incidents. Easton also thanked the Australian agencies, advertisers and associations for the support Facebook had received “through some pretty challenging times”.
He told the crowd of marketers and media professionals that the company’s advertising platform would not change because of the incident.
The latest fallout from the Cambridge Annalytica saga includes Cambridge Analytica whistleblower, Christopher Wylie, suggesting the use of Facebook data and “cheating” had influenced the EU referendum result. Wylie was testifying before a British parliamentary committee.
Facebook founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg has declined a request to testify before the same committee. The company has suggested chief technology officer Mike Schroepfer or chief product officer Chris Cox would be better suited to answer questions from the committee.
Facebook’s share price has continued to fall on the back of the Cambridge analytics scandal. The latest reports show the company’s share price fell a further 4.9 per cent overnight.
In the last fortnight, Facebook shares have fallen by more than 16 per cent.