House panel calls for Zuckerberg to testify

House panel calls for Zuckerberg to testify
© Greg Nash

Top lawmakers on the House Energy and Commerce Committee are calling for Facebook chief executive Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergTop antitrust Dem calls on FTC to probe Facebook's market dominance Conservatives face a tough fight as Big Tech's censorship expands Actually, consumers love Big Tech, even if they say they don't MORE to testify before the panel over the Cambridge Analytica controversy.

Committee Chairman Greg WaldenGregory (Greg) Paul WaldenThe 25 Republicans who defied Trump on emergency declaration House GOP lawmaker says Green New Deal is like genocide Overnight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — FDA issues proposal to limit sales of flavored e-cigs | Trump health chief gets grilling | Divisions emerge over House drug pricing bills | Dems launch investigation into short-term health plans MORE (R-Ore.) and Rep. Frank Pallone Jr.Frank Joseph PalloneDems ask FTC if it needs more money to protect privacy Trump officials take bold steps on Medicaid Divisions emerge over House drug price bills MORE (D-N.J.), the panel's ranking member, said in a statement Thursday that they want Zuckerberg to appear before the committee.

ADVERTISEMENT

They join a growing chorus of lawmakers who are pushing for the Facebook CEO to testify on Capitol Hill following new revelations regarding the social media platform's handling of sensitive user data. 

Along with Republicans like Sens. Jerry MoranGerald (Jerry) MoranThe 25 Republicans who defied Trump on emergency declaration Overnight Defense: Senate rejects border emergency in rebuke to Trump | Acting Pentagon chief grilled on wall funding | Warren confronts chief over war fund budget 12 Republican senators defy Trump on emergency declaration  MORE (Kan.) and John KennedyJohn Neely KennedyMORE (La.) and Democrats like Sens. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharWarren, Klobuchar call on FTC to curtail use of non-compete clauses Republican strategist predicts his 2020 Dem primary final four Chicago mayor race mirrors national push for more women in office, says columnist MORE (Minn.) and Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyWarren, Klobuchar call on FTC to curtail use of non-compete clauses Senate Dems petition Saudi king to release dissidents, US citizen The Hill's 12:30 Report: Manafort sentenced to total of 7.5 years in prison MORE (Mass.), the pair wants Zuckerberg to clarify how Cambridge Analytica, a firm used by the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential race, improperly obtained data from 50 million Facebook users.

“After committee staff received a briefing yesterday from Facebook officials, we felt that many questions were left unanswered,” Walden and Pallone said in a joint statement.

“Mr. Zuckerberg has stated that he would be willing to testify if he is the right person. We believe, as CEO of Facebook, he is the right witness to provide answers to the American people,” they said.

They said in the statement that a formal letter will be sent to Zuckerberg "in the coming days."

Zuckerberg said during a media blitz on Wednesday night that he is open to testifying before Congress, but only if he is the correct person at Facebook to do so.

Facebook's data practices are under intense scrutiny after it was revealed that Cambridge Analytica took data from 50 million of Facebook users without their permission and then did not delete data after telling Facebook it would.