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 ZuckerbergTech finds surprise ally in Trump amid high-stakes tax fight FTC rules Cambridge Analytica engaged in 'deceptive practices' with Facebook data mining Hillicon Valley: Trump officials propose retaliatory tariffs over French digital tax | FBI classifies FaceApp as threat | Twitter revamps policies to comply with privacy laws | Zuckerberg defends political ads policy MORE to testify before the panel over the Cambridge Analytica controversy.

Committee Chairman Greg WaldenGregory (Greg) Paul WaldenOvernight Health Care — Presented by Johnson & Johnson – House progressives may try to block vote on Pelosi drug bill | McConnell, Grassley at odds over Trump-backed drug pricing bill | Lawmakers close to deal on surprise medical bills Key negotiator says deal close on surprise medical bills legislation Trade deal talks expand as Congress debates tech legal shield MORE (R-Ore.) and Rep. Frank Pallone Jr.Frank Joseph PalloneOvernight Health Care — Presented by Johnson & Johnson – House progressives may try to block vote on Pelosi drug bill | McConnell, Grassley at odds over Trump-backed drug pricing bill | Lawmakers close to deal on surprise medical bills Key negotiator says deal close on surprise medical bills legislation House Democrat presses Google executives for answers on handling of health data 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) MoranMcConnell, Grassley at odds over Trump-backed drug bill Senators inch forward on federal privacy bill Hillicon Valley: Dueling bills set stage for privacy debate | Google co-founders step down from parent company | Advocates rally for self-driving car bill | Elon Musk defamation trial begins | Lawsuit accuses TikTok of sharing data with China MORE (Kan.) and John KennedyJohn Neely KennedyMORE (La.) and Democrats like Sens. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharBiden: All-white debate not representative of party, but 'you can't dictate' nominee Delaney to DNC: Open second debate stage for candidates who qualified for past events There's a lot to like about the Senate privacy bill, if it's not watered down MORE (Minn.) and Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyThere's a lot to like about the Senate privacy bill, if it's not watered down Trump administration drops plan to face scan all travelers leaving or entering US Advocates hopeful dueling privacy bills can bridge partisan divide 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.