Mark Zuckerberg Says Yes To Calls To Testify In Front Of Congress Over Data Handling, Says Multiple Reports

Eric Lieberman | Tech and Law Reporter

Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg has reportedly agreed to testify before Congress after several calls from U.S. lawmakers, and portions of the public, to explain his company’s data management and utilization practices.

Zuckerberg’s imminent attendance for the hearing held by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, according to Bloomberg, likely stems from at least a few incidences in recent weeks. Facebook, for example, announced earlier in March that it is suspending a data analytics firm that worked with President Donald Trump’s election campaign because it violated an agreement purportedly meant to only allow the partnered organization the ability to collect and utilize user data in limited ways. Not long after, many reports detailed how Facebook collects call and text logs through Google Android apps — the extent of which may specifically be new to many.

The entrepreneurial wunderkind declined an invitation Tuesday to appear before British lawmakers. And he originally showed arguably tepid enthusiasm in being the representative of his company officially speaking to U.S. officials, saying he would happily agree to do so only if he felt he was the person with “the most knowledge.”

Zuckerberg may have become completely convinced, or perhaps pressured, after multiple government officials and institutions expressed their respective and collective desires for him to attend a Congressional hearing. Some, like the Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, even published appeals to summon Zuckerberg.

Other congressional committees have also invited Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Google CEO Sundar Pichai to testify on a panel surrounding online user privacy, implying that they believe Facebook may not be the only culprit of alleged digital recklessness.

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to reflect that a hearing date has not been officially set, after initial reports said it would likely occur on April 12th.

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