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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 ZuckerbergHillicon Valley: Facebook content moderators demand more workplace protections | Ousted cyber official blasts Giuliani press conference | Tech firms fall short on misinformation targeting Latino vote Facebook says AI is aiding platform's ability to remove hate speech Facebook content moderators demand more workplace COVID-19 protections MORE to testify before the panel over the Cambridge Analytica controversy.

Committee Chairman Greg WaldenGregory (Greg) Paul WaldenHillicon Valley: Leadership changes at top cyber agency raise national security concerns | Snapchat launches in-app video platform 'Spotlight' | Uber, Lyft awarded federal transportation contract Lawmakers urge FCC to assist in effort to rip out, replace suspect network equipment OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Barrasso to seek top spot on Energy and Natural Resources Committee | Forest Service finalizes rule weakening environmental review of its projects | Biden to enlist Agriculture, Transportation agencies in climate fight MORE (R-Ore.) and Rep. Frank Pallone Jr.Frank Joseph PalloneHouse Democrats urge Amazon to investigate, recall 'defective' products Asbestos ban stalls in Congress amid partisan fight Pharma execs say FDA will not lower standards for coronavirus vaccine MORE (D-N.J.), the panel's ranking member, said in a statement Thursday that they want Zuckerberg to appear before the committee.

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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) MoranIt's time for Congress to act: Save jobs and stabilize the aerospace industry Lobbying world This World Suicide Prevention Day, let's recommit to protecting the lives of our veterans MORE (Kan.) and John KennedyJohn Neely KennedyMORE (La.) and Democrats like Sens. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharFormer Minnesota Democratic leader quits party Top cybersecurity official ousted by Trump Lawmakers question tech CEOs about content moderation in first post-election hearing MORE (Minn.) and Ed MarkeyEd MarkeyUS national security policy in the 117th Congress and a new administration OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden eyes new leadership at troubled public lands agency | House progressives tout their growing numbers in the chamber at climate rally | Trump administration pushes for rollback of Arctic offshore drilling regulations House progressives tout their growing numbers in the chamber at climate rally 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.