Top executive says Facebook depends on user data

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It has also prompted calls for Facebook to be more transparent about how it handles user data.

Not to mention its apparent inability to even identify the problem until the company was already embroiled in scandal.

Facebook has been secretly deleting some of messages CEO Mark Zuckerberg sent through its Messenger application, an option that hasn't been available to most of the social network's 2.2 billion users.

Facebook added: "We are working with third parties to develop a list of key issues, which we will refine over time". Facebook had it turned on by default. "We thought the data had been deleted and we should have checked". "That, to me, was the failure".

But the scandal that saw political data firm Cambridge Analytica exploit the personal information of 87 million users may only be the start of its troubles.

Although the data was openly given by Facebook to the university researcher, the company has said that this was legitimate and that only its further transfer to Cambridge Analytics was illicit.

In short, the notion that Facebook users could collect money from the social network over the Cambridge Analytica controversy was a highly speculative one that was specific to United Kingdom users only and posited £12,500 (US $17,500) as a theoretical maximum rather than a likely payment.

No notifications of the removal were sent either publicly or to the specifically affected users.

"We should have done this earlier", Sandberg said, but they are trying to make up for lost time.

Facebook clarified in a statement on Thursday.

In his call with reporters Wednesday, Zuckerberg said the company had tried "rate limiting" the searches. That includes full name, profile picture, and listings of school or workplace networks.

Facebook says it's not known exactly what kind of data was siphoned and stored or what the two involved companies - GSR and Cambridge Analytica did with that data.

"Our intention is to be able to pull back the curtain and to be able to explain and expose for the public, for parliamentarians, for civil society, what happens with their personal information in the context of political advertising and political messaging", she said. Users signing into the dating app with their social media account were presented with the message "Facebook Permissions".

Sandberg acknowledged that Facebook mishandled the breach and told her interviewer that it is possible a company-wide audit now underway could reveal additional breaches. Depending on your perspective, it's a little concerning that Facebook wields the power mess with people's private messages, and has admitted to doing so. Sources in the government say that the IT ministry is miffed why users whose data had been stolen weren't warned for the last two years by Facebook.

"We have a partnership now with the AP [Associated Press] set up in all 50 states where we can quickly respond when something looks like it might be false", she said.

"We learned that the placement of this content could be confusing and appeared to connect people to a cause they did not directly support".