Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg will testify before a key House committee next week, the panel said Wednesday, the first of three potential hearings in which Zuckerberg could face questions about Facebook’s data privacy practices.
The hearing — set before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on the morning of April 11 — could result in an uncomfortable grilling from Democrats and Republicans who believe the social giant is responsible for everything from fake news to online extremism.
A spokesman for Facebook did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.
The catalyst for the hearings is how Facebook data was obtained by Cambridge Analytica, a data firm hired by Donald Trump's campaign during the 2016 election. Years earlier, Cambridge Analytica improperly appeared to access the names, “likes” and other personal information from at least 30 million Facebook users, according to Christopher Wylie, a former employee turned whistleblower.
The revelations have touched off a string of investigations around the world, including the United States, where the Federal Trade Commission is scrutinizing Facebook over its privacy practices — and could potentially penalize the company with fines reaching into the millions of dollars.
In Congress, Zuckerberg has faced demands that he testify before two other committees: the Senate Commerce Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee. The panels did not immediately respond to emails seeking comment Wednesday.