Facebook takes out full page newspaper ads to apologise over data breach

Facebook has taken out full page adverts in several UK and US Sunday newspapers in which it has apologised for the recent data privacy scandal.

Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, says that his company could have done more to stop the 2014 data breach.

It is alleged a university researcher named Dr Aleksandr Kogan, developed a quiz app in 2013 in order to carry out a 'data grab' on Facebook users on behalf of research firm Cambridge Analytica.

In the advert Mark Zuckerberg apologises for the "breach of trust" and says apps like Dr Kogan's, no longer have access to Facebook's data.

He wrote: "I'm sorry we didn't do more at the time. We're now taking steps to make sure this doesn't happen again."

He added: "We've already stopped apps like this getting so much information. Now we're limiting the data apps get when you sign into Facebook."

The advert also says that Facebook is investigating every app that has had access to data, as it believes there have been further privacy breaches.

It says any company found to be in breach of Facebook's privacy policy will be banned from the site and users will be informed.

Meanwhile, it has emerged that Facebook was warned of potential privacy breaches two years before the "data grab" on millions of users.

A 2011 audit by Ireland's Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) said Facebook's security measures were "not considered sufficient" to prevent third party apps from unauthorised use of personal data.

The December 2011 report by the DPC told executives at Facebook's international headquarters in Ireland that the watchdog "(did) not consider that reliance on developer adherence to best practice or stated policy in certain cases is sufficient to ensure security of user data".

Facebook told the regulator that it had "proactive auditing and automated tools" that were designed to not only detect abuse by developers, but to "prevent it in the first place".