Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg vows to do more as Facebook scandal mushrooms

In this AFP file photo taken on March 25, 2015 Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks at the F8 summit in San Francisco, California.
The chairman of Facebook has vowed to take measures to protect the personal information of people who use the US social media giant, as it fights a growing scandal after the personal data of 50 million Facebook users was breached.
"We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can't then we don't deserve to serve you," Mark Zuckerberg said Wednesday, in his first public comments on the harvesting of Facebook user data by a British firm linked to US President Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign.
Zuckerberg announced new steps to curb the leakage of data to outside developers, while giving users more control over their information through a special application software.
"This was a major breach of trust and I'm really sorry that this happened," Zuckerberg said in a televised interview with CNN. "Our responsibility now is to make sure this doesn't happen again."
Zuckerberg said he will testify before Congress if he is the person at Facebook best placed to answer their questions, and that he is not opposed to regulating internet titans such as the social media service.
The scandal erupted after the Observer newspaper reported that British data analysis firm Cambridge Analytica had created psychological profiles on 50 million Facebook users via a personality prediction app, created by a researcher named Aleksandr Kogan.
The app was downloaded by 270,000 people, but also gathered their friends' data without consent -- as was possible under Facebook's rules at the time.
Cambridge Analytica was hired in 2016 by Trump's election campaign to predict and influence voters' choices at the ballot box.
Facebook says it discovered last week that Cambridge Analytica may not have deleted the data as it certified.
Zuckerberg's apology followed another day of damaging accusations against the world's biggest social network as calls mounted for investigations in the US and Europe.
Max Schrems, a Vienna-based activist who has brought online data protection cases before European courts, told AFP on Tuesday that he complained to the Irish Data Protection Authority in 2011 about the controversial data harvesting methods.
British Prime Minister Theresa May has urged Facebook and Cambridge Analytica to cooperate with the national information commissioner's probe.
"The allegations are clearly very concerning," she told MPs.
The data scandal has increased pressure on Facebook, which was already under fire for allowing fake news to proliferate on its platform during the 2016 US presidential election.
A movement to quit the social network gathered momentum, while a handful of lawsuits emerged which could turn into class actions in a costly distraction for the company.
"It is time. #deletefacebook," Brian Acton, the high-profile co-founder of the WhatsApp messaging service, said in a tweet protesting the social media giant's handling of the crisis.