Two United States senators are calling for Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify in front of Congress over the recent controversy the social media company has faced over its handling of user data.
Democratic Senators Edward Markey of Massachusetts and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut sent a letter to Zuckerberg Thursday requesting he appear before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.
A bipartisan group of leaders on the House Energy and Commerce Committee including committee chairman Greg Walden, R-Ore., and ranking member Frank Pallone, D-NJ, have also asked Zuckerberg to testify, Axios reported. Earlier this week, Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., sent a letter asking Zuckerberg about Facebook’s data sharing policies.
In an interview with CNN Wednesday evening, Zuckerberg was asked if he would testify before Congress. “I’m happy to if it’s the right thing to do,” Zuckerberg said. “Our objective is to provide Congress, which is an extremely important job, to have the most information they can.”
“What we try to do is send the person at Facebook who will have the most knowledge,” he explained. “If that’s me, then I am happy to go.”
Lawmakers are hoping to pin down Zuckerberg on how his company allowed Cambridge Analytica, a controversial political data analytics firm based in the United Kingdom, to acquire the data of more than 50 million Facebook users without their consent.
The data was collected by a third-party Facebook app that was capable of scraping information from a user’s Facebook friends, allowing it to collect the information of people who did not use the app. That information was then sold to Cambridge Analytica, which used the data to run targeted advertising campaigns for political groups, including Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.
“While we appreciate your recent engagement on this matter, a number of important questions remain unanswered,” the Senators wrote in a letter sent to Zuckerberg. “We write seeking more information regarding Facebook’s internal policies for approval and governance of applications authorized to collect personal information.”
On Monday, Senator Markey called for the Facebook chief executive to testify before Congress.