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Facebook takes out newspaper ads to apologize for Cambridge Analytica scandal

NEW YORK -- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg took out full-page ads in several major newspapers in the U.S. and the U.K. on Sunday to apologize for the data privacy scandal involving Cambridge Analytica and the reported misuse of personal data from 50 million people.

"You may have heard about a quiz app built by a university researcher that leaked Facebook data of millions of people in 2014," says the ad, which is signed by Zuckerberg and closely resembles his initial public statement on the controversy. The "university researcher" is a reference to University of Cambridge researcher Aleksandr Kogan, who Facebook said violated its privacy policy by giving users' data to Cambridge Analytica without their permission.

A Facebook spokesperson told CBS News the ads appeared Sunday in the U.K.'s Sunday Times, Sunday Telegraph, Observer, Mail on Sunday, Sunday Mirror and Sunday Express, along with American newspapers The New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal, which will run Monday.

"This was a breach of trust, and I'm sorry we didn't do more at the time. We're now taking steps to ensure this doesn't happen again," Zuckerberg writes, adding that the company has already "stopped apps like this from getting so much information."

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A man reads a full-page advertisement, taken out by Mark Zuckerberg, the chairman and chief executive officer of Facebook to apologise for the large-scale leak of personal data from the social network, on the back page of a newspaper, in Ripon, England on March 25, 2018. 

OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty

The social media giant's market cap has dropped about $50 billion since details on the story were first published last week.

In Sunday's advertisement, Zuckerberg said Facebook will reminds users "which apps you've given access to your information so you can shut off the ones you don't want anymore."

The letter concludes by thanking users for "believing" in the Facebook community: "I promise to do better for you."