Amid the controversy surrounding reports that research firm Cambridge Analytica accessed the private data of tens of millions of Facebook users, a Democrat senator has demanded that Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg testify before Congress.
On Wednesday, Zuckerberg shared a status update admitting that Facebook “made mistakes” by not preventing the firm — which had ties to Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign — from accessing about 50 million users’ information without their knowledge.
But Massachusetts Democrat Sen. Ed Markey needed more than just a written apology posted to Facebook.
“You need to come to Congress and testify to this under oath,” Markey wrote in reply to Zuckerberg’s post.
You need to come to Congress and testify to this under oath.
For his part, Zuckerberg promised Wednesday that Facebook would renew its efforts to protect private data and heal the “breach of trust” that has formed between the social media giant and its billions of users.
“We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can’t then we don’t deserve to serve you,” he wrote. “I’ve been working to understand exactly what happened and how to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”
In an interview with CNN, Zuckerberg said he would be “happy” to testify before Congress.
“The short answer is I’m happy to if it’s the right thing to do,” he said.
“What we try to do is send the person at Facebook who will have the most knowledge,” Zuckerberg stated. “If that’s me, then I am happy to go.”
In addition to Zuckerberg’s apology, Facebook officials are set to appear before lawmakers to brief them on the social network’s data practices, as well as the nature of its relationship with Cambridge Analytica, The Hill reported.
During a Tuesday appearance on MSNBC, Markey explained why he thinks it’s necessary for Zuckerberg to testify.
“It’s time for Mark Zuckerberg to come to Congress and testify as to what the privacy protections are that Facebook has on the books and how this happened,” he stated. “How did Cambridge Analytica break through this world of social media that we have in our country and grab 50 million Americans’ private information?”
It’s time for Mark Zuckerberg to testify before Congress to answer for this massive privacy breach. pic.twitter.com/IMPvRzuH70
— Ed Markey (@SenMarkey) March 20, 2018
“We need to know the answers for that from Mark Zuckerberg, himself,” Markey added.
Moreover, in addition to echoing their colleague’s call for Zuckerberg to testify, Democrat Sens. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Mark Warner of Virginia are pushing legislation referred to as the Honest Ads Act.
This would force internet platforms like Facebook and Google to follow the same political ad transparency standards as traditional mediums.
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