Senate GOP chairman calls on Zuckerberg to testify

Senate GOP chairman calls on Zuckerberg to testify
© Greg Nash

Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneSenators offer bipartisan bill to fix 'retail glitch' in GOP tax law GOP's Tillis comes under pressure for taking on Trump We need a national privacy law that respects the First Amendment MORE (R-S.D.) on Friday called on 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 his committee over the mishandling of user data.

“On a bipartisan basis, we believe Mr. Zuckerberg’s testimony is necessary to gain a better understanding of how the company plans to restore lost trust, safeguard users’ data, and end a troubling series of belated responses to serious problems,” Thune wrote in a letter along with the panel's top Democrat, Sen. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonEx-House Intel chair: Intel panel is wrong forum to investigate Trump's finances The Hill's Morning Report - Trump budget reignites border security fight 2020 party politics in Puerto Rico MORE (Fla.), on Friday.

The letter comes after reports that Cambridge Analytica, a British data firm that was also hired by President TrumpDonald John TrumpDem lawmaker says Electoral College was 'conceived' as way to perpetuate slavery Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals to visit White House on Monday Transportation Dept requests formal audit of Boeing 737 Max certification MORE's campaign, accessed data from 50 million Facebook accounts without those users' consent.

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Facebook representatives had briefed Commerce Committee staff on Thursday about the matter, but that did little to assuage lawmaker.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), who sits on the committee, said he still had many questions about Facebook’s dealings with Cambridge Analytica after attending the meeting.

"With all due respect to the people in this room, they can't commit the company,” Blumenthal told reporters after the meeting. “Someone needs to appear before the public and commit the company in public under oath to what it's going to do to prevent this kind of egregious breach of trust in the future."

The Commerce Committee's call for Zuckerberg to testify comes after House

House Energy and Commerce Committee leaders formally invited the Facebook founder and CEO to testify.

Lawmakers from both parties have blasted Facebook for its handling of the Cambridge Analytica controversy.