Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg says that while Facebook doesn't sell or give away its users' information (it just allows third party apps to do that), the company still "depends on your data," and if users wanted to completely opt out of all of the platform's data-driven advertising, they would have to pay for it.
Sandberg made the comments in an interview with Today co-anchor Savannah Guthrie in an interview set to air Friday morning.
So "we don't have an opt-out at the highest level," she acknowledged. "That would be a paid product." -NBC News
The Today interview was one of many Sandberg gave on Thursday as part of a massive damage control and image rehabilitation campaign in the wake of a massive data harvesting scandal.
Sandberg also acknowledged that the company mishandled the breach which allowed third party app developers to collect data on tens of millions of customers - such as the personality prediction app "thisisyourdigitallife" created by two psychologists (one of whom currently works for Facebook), which sold data of up to 87 million users to political data firm Cambridge Analytica (CA).
"We thought that the data had been deleted, and you're right, we should have checked," Sandberg said of the user info sold to CA after the data harvesting scheme was originally discovered.
"We were given assurances by them years ago that they deleted the data," she said of Cambridge Analytica on "PBS NewsHour." "We should've followed up. That's on us. We are trying to do a forensic audit to find out what they have." -NBC News
Sandberg told Bloomberg TV in a separate Thursday interview that the company was "systematically looking at all the ways Facebook data is used."
We're still waiting to hear from Sheryl about how this won't affect earnings, though she did say "we've never run this company for short-term gains, and we've never run this company to maximize profits. We've run this company for the long term health of our community and business."