Mark Zuckerberg has agreed to testify before Congress, according to a CNN report. A subsequent Bloomberg report says Zuckerberg is expected to appear before the House Energy and Commerce Committee. A committee spokesperson said the appearance is still unconfirmed, and the committee “is continuing to work with Facebook to determine a day and time for Mr. Zuckerberg to testify.”
The committee is seeking more information concerning Facebook’s dealings with the data analysis firm Cambridge Analytica, which was suspended from the platform for inappropriate data collection earlier this month. Zuckerberg has also been called to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee but declined to appear before a UK parliamentary committee undertaking a similar investigation.
The Facebook CEO apologized for his company’s handling of the issue in a CNN interview last week, calling it “a major breach of trust.”
Facebook is facing mounting pressure over Cambridge Analytica’s behavior, spurred by public accusations from former research director Christopher Wylie. The new allegations center on a Facebook app called “thisisyourdigitallife,” which was used to harvest personal data from as many as 50 million users through the Facebook API in 2015. The resulting data was used to target ads for Cambridge Analytica clients, including Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.
Similar data-collection tricks are common among digital marketers, but Facebook’s limited reaction to the apparent privacy violation has spurred outrage from users and renewed interest from regulators in the US and Europe. Yesterday, the FTC confirmed an open investigation into whether Cambridge Analytica’s data collection violated an earlier consent decree by Facebook.
Update March 27th, 1:58PM ET: Revised to include date and further details from Bloomberg.
Update March 27th, 3:26PM ET: Revised to include statement from committee spokesperson.