With all the controversy surrounding the Cambridge Analytica scandal, the calls for Mark Zuckerberg to testify in the US Congress was getting louder by the day. That being the case, it was only a matter of time before the CEO and founder of the company was officially asked to appear at Capitol Hill in person to face grilling by US lawmakers.
That’s exactly what seems to be happening now, with the Associated Press reporting that the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee has now summoned the Facebook chief executive to testify about the Cambridge Analytica data-mining scandal that has snowballed into one of the biggest data-breach controversies in recent memory.
Two members of the aforementioned committee, Reps. Greg Walden of Oregon and Frank Pallone of New Jersey, released a joint statement on Wednesday, saying that the “latest revelations regarding Facebook’s use and security of user data raise many serious consumer protection concerns”.
The statement goes on to say that Zuckerberg needs to appear before the Congress because, as the head of the company, he is the “right witness to provide answers to the American people”.
Walden, a Republican, is currently the chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, while Pallone is the panel’s top-ranking Democrat. The two said they would work with Facebook and Zuckerberg to set a date and time for the hearing.
The move comes just a day after Zuckerberg finally broke his silence, granting a series of interviews to leading media outlets such as CNN, Wired and the New York Times, to talk about the data breach and how the company plans to avert similar debacles in the future. He also offered to testify before Congress if the lawmakers wanted, but expressed doubt whether he would be the right person for that, given other people in the company may have more detailed info about the exact workings of Cambridge Analytica.
He also apologized to all users for the leak, and promised that the company is trying its best to make sure that a breach of trust of this magnitude never happens again.