TECH
28/03/2018 5:07 AM AEDT | Updated 28/03/2018 5:47 AM AEDT

Mark Zuckerberg Is Expected To Testify Before Congress On Data Misuse: Reports

The Facebook CEO’s decision follows a number of requests by lawmakers in both the U.S. and the U.K.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is reportedly planning to testify before Congress about the recent Cambridge Analytica data scandal.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee is working with the social media company to determine a date and time for the executive to appear, a spokeswoman for the committee told HuffPost.

CNN, which was the first to break the news on Tuesday, reported that he is currently planning a strategy for his testimony, according to Facebook sources.

Zuckerberg has received a barrage of such requests by lawmakers in both the U.S. and the U.K. since it was revealed that personal data belonging to millions of Facebook users had been shared with the political research firm without users’ consent.

Bloomberg via Getty Images
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is reportedly planning to testify before Congress about a massive data leak.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee on Friday requested Zuckerberg’s testimony in a letter that detailed its concerns about Facebook’s use and protection of user data.

“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,” the letter addressed to Zuckerberg read.

“The hearing will examine the harvesting and sale of personal information from more than 50 million Facebook users, potentially without their notice or consent and in violation of Facebook policy,” it continued. “The hearing will also explore broader questions about Facebook’s policies at the time Facebook Platform was launched, today, and in the future regarding both Facebook’s use of user information and the access to user information Facebook provides to others.”

In the U.K., a Facebook official on Monday turned down Parliament’s request for Zuckerberg to testify. The company said it will instead provide a senior deputy to testify and answer questions, an offer that was criticized by a Parliament member.

Similar requests have been made by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who on Monday invited Zuckerberg, as well as the CEOs of Google and Twitter, to attend a hearing on data privacy and social media.

That hearing, scheduled for April 10, “will broadly cover privacy standards for the collection, retention and dissemination of consumer data for commercial use,” Grassley’s office said.

Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and John Kennedy (R-La.) last week sent a letter to Grassley asking that he hold a judiciary hearing with Zuckerberg and fellow social media CEOs.

Klobuchar appeared to celebrate news of Zuckerberg’s plans to testify on Twitter on Tuesday.

“Next up, Cambridge Analytica must testify,” she tweeted.

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Zuckerberg’s testimony plans.

This post has been updated with comment from a House Energy and Commerce Committee spokeswoman.