According to Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer, the company did not read the terms and services of the app that would be used to harvest data and share it with Cambridge Analytica, CNBC reports. In a parliamentary hearing in the U.K., he shared the blunder. "We require that people have terms and conditions and we have an automated check there at the time—this was in 2014, maybe earlier," he said. "We did not read all of the terms and conditions."
The app, a quiz developed by Cambridge University researcher Aleksandr Kogan called This is Your Digital Life, collected data from millions of users, later shared with Cambridge Analytica in order to create more specifically targeted political ads on the platform. Schroepfer also added that Facebook never notified the Information Commissioner's Office, an independent data protection authority, once they found out about the data breach. "At the time, we thought the matter was resolved. We had received legal certification from all the parties involved that the data was not there again," he explained.
In the hearing, Schroepfer echoed CEO Mark Zuckerberg's sentiments from earlier this month and said their failure to notify users of the breach sooner was a "mistake." They began the notifications on April 9 but reportedly knew about the situation for months prior. This is just the latest damning detail in Facebook's ongoing problems with privacy and user data, as former Cambridge Analytica business development director Brittany Kaiser recently revealed the breach may have affected "much greater" than the initially reported 87 million users, thanks to the company's use of "multiple" questionnaires similar to Kogan's.