Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg has decided to testify before the United States Congress after repeated calls to speak over data privacy.
The 33-year-old CEO has come to terms with the fact that he will have to testify before the Congress within a matter of weeks, and Facebook is currently planning the strategy for his testimony, CNN News cited sources from the social media platform as saying on Tuesday.
This comes after immense pressure on Zuckerberg from lawmakers, the media and the public after the Facebook founder last week apologised for data breach and said the platform had made “mistakes”.
Sources believe Zuckerberg’s willingness to testify will also put pressure on Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to do the same.
Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley has officially invited all three CEOs to a hearing on data privacy on April 10.
Zuckerberg earlier in the day turned down a request from British lawmakers to answer questions on the social network’s privacy practices and said he would send two deputies instead.
The forthcoming Capitol Hill drama is the culmination of the tech backlash that went mainstream last year.
Facebook has been facing trust issues from the public after it was revealed that Cambridge Analytica, a data firm with ties to US President Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign, reportedly accessed information from about 50 million users without their knowledge.
Facebook now faces a Herculean effort to restore public trust in its commitment to privacy and data protection, sources told CNN.
The scandal also highlights a problem that is built into the company’s DNA: its business is data exploitation.
Facebook makes money by harvesting user data and sharing it with app developers and advertisers. Preventing those buyers from passing that data to third parties with ulterior motives may ultimately be impossible.
Image: Facebook has been facing trust issues after it was revealed that Cambridge Analytica, a data firm with ties to US President Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign, reportedly accessed information from about 50 million users without their knowledge. Photograph: Stephen Lam/Reuters