After multiple requests from legislators around the globe, Mark Zuckerberg is expected to testify before one or more congressional committees in coming weeks following reports that the political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica misused the personal data of millions of Facebook users.
CNN reported Tuesday that Zuckerberg plans to testify and that Facebook is working out a strategy for where and when. Bloomberg reported that the Facebook CEO will testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on April 12, but a committee spokesperson denied that is the case.1 “Reports of Mr. Zuckerberg’s confirmed attendance are incorrect. The committee is continuing to work with Facebook to determine a day and time for Mr. Zuckerberg to testify,” the spokesperson said via email.
In a letter to Zuckerberg last week, the Energy and Commerce Committee wrote, “In comments to the press, you stated that the person with the most knowledge at Facebook about what Congress is trying to learn is the appropriate witness for a congressional hearing. As the Chief Executive Officer of Facebook and the employee who has been the leader of Facebook through all the key strategic decisions since its launch, you are the right person to testify before Congress about those decisions and the Facebook business model.”
At least two Senate committees—Judiciary, and Energy and Commerce—also have asked Zuckerberg to testify.
Zuckerberg denied a request to appear UK Parliament, according to the BBC.
The Federal Trade Commission confirmed on Monday that it had begun an investigation into Facebook’s data-handling practices, following the reports.
Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
1 Correction appended, 3/27/18, 3:50 pm EDT: A spokesperson for the House Energy and Commerce Committee says Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has not agreed on a date and time to appear before the panel. An earlier version of this article incorrectly said Zuckerberg would testify on April 12.
Facing the Music
- Facebook was initially slow to respond to the reports about Cambridge Analytica’s use of its data.
- In 2009, researchers already worried about the hazards of amassing vast “data sets on how people interact,” presaging the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
- Read WIRED’s detailed look at the past two years of turmoil inside Facebook.