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Sheryl Sandberg. Photo: Marla Aufmuth / Getty Images for Texas Conference for Women

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg told CNBC's Julia Boorstin that if she "could live this week again," she would speak sooner on the relationship with Cambridge Analytica.

What she said: Sandberg said she could not guarantee more breaches wouldn't come to light, saying "there will always be bad actors." She also told Boorstin the company is "open to regulation," echoing Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's sentiment that this was a breach of trust with users.

Why now: The interview comes a day after she and Zuckerberg both addressed the "Cambridge Analytica situation" and six days after news of the scandal broke. She hewed very closely to the comments made by Zuckerberg in a media blitz Wednesday evening, after they were both criticized for not speaking up about the situation sooner.

  • She also noted that Facebook previously tightened its data use rules, which the company noted Wednesday in its outline of new steps it is taking to protect user data.
  • "We made the changes to make this data not available years ago, but that wasn't enough."

Between the lines: The two execs are being careful to respond to the public outcry while not adding fuel to the fire by elaborating about, for example, exactly what kind of regulation they would be open to.

Go deeper: Read what Zuckerberg told media outlets Wednesday evening.

Go deeper

OIG: HHS misused millions of dollars intended for public health threats

Vaccine vials. Photo: Punit Paranjpe/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. Office of Special Counsel alerted the White House and Congress on Wednesday of an investigation that found the Department of Health and Human Services misused millions of dollars that were budgeted for vaccine research and public health emergencies for Ebola, Zika and now the COVID-19 pandemic.

Why it matters: The more than 200-page investigation corroborated claims from a whistleblower, showing the agency's violation of the Purpose Statute spanned both the Obama and Trump administrations and paid for unrelated projects like salaries, news subscriptions and the removal of office furniture.

John Kerry: U.S.-China climate cooperation is a "critical standalone issue"

President Biden's special climate envoy John Kerry said Wednesday that the U.S. must deal with China on climate change as a "critical standalone issue," but stressed that Beijing's human rights and trade abuses "will never be traded" for climate cooperation.

Why it matters: The last few years have brought about a bipartisan consensus on the need for the U.S. to confront China's aggression. But as the world's largest greenhouse gas emitter, China will be a vital player if the world is going to come close to reining in emissions on the scale needed to meet the Paris Agreement goals of limiting warming to 2°C above pre-industrial levels.

In cyber espionage, U.S. is both hunted and hunter

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

American outrage over foreign cyber espionage, like Russia's SolarWinds hack, obscures the uncomfortable reality that the U.S. secretly does just the same thing to other countries.

Why it matters: Secrecy is often necessary in cyber spying to protect sources and methods, preserve strategic edges that may stem from purloined information, and prevent diplomatic incidents.