Mark Zuckerberg hasn’t had a good week, as stock for social networking site Facebook plunged down to 159.39, a loss of 17.44 points over the week due to the crisis with Cambridge Analytica. The news that Cambridge misused the data of over 50 million Facebook users’ shook the company.
Zuckerberg, CEO of the company, owns approximately 403 million shares of the stock, which serves as his primary source of wealth since he only accepts a salary of $1/year. The weekly drop means he lost $10 billion in net worth over this single week. The decline wasn’t limited to the tail end of the week. Zuckerberg already felt the effects on Monday afternoon, when he’d lost $6.06 billion due to the controversy of how personal data is handled erupted.
Bloomberg estimates his total worth dropped from $74.8 billion on Thursday, March 8th, down to $67.3 billion on March 15th. He still classifies as one of the richest people in the world, even with his recent losses due to the negative publicity surrounding the social media giant.
Facebook responded to the outcry by announcing that they were suspending the company, Cambridge Analytica, who assisted in helping get Donald Trump elected by misusing millions of the site’s member’s personal information. Cambridge had claimed that they deleted the data once the issue surfaced and stated that none of what was collected was used to assist with President Trump’s presidential campaign. Cambridge’s CEO, Alexander Nix, has been suspended pending a thorough investigation into the matter.
Zuckerberg waited until the middle of the week to address the public regarding the data issue. He gave interviews and issued a statement explaining how the incident occurred and introduced a plan going forward to prevent it from happening again.
Cambridge University researcher Aleksandr Kogan, created a digital app called “thisisyourdigitallife” in 2013, which had access to Facebook users and friend’s lists. This was before the feature was available in the Facebook app to withhold access to certain types of personal information. This is why 50 million users were impacted when only about 300,000 people actually downloaded and installed the app on their devices. When Cambridge Analytica was informed about the situation, they were instructed to immediately destroy all the data collected as a result of users downloading this app.