Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will testify before Congress next week regarding ‘privacy issues’

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Drew Angerer/Getty Images
  • Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg will testify before Congress next Wednesday.
  • He is set to answer questions from the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
  • The congressional hearing is the latest development in the Facebook privacy scandal related to the data-analytics firm Cambridge Analytica.
  • Zuckerberg was previously reported to be preparing to testify before Congress.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is headed to Congress next Wednesday to face questions from the House Energy and Commerce Committee in the wake of his company’s data scandal.

The 10 a.m. hearing, announced Wednesday by the committee, is expected to focus largely on the data scandal involving Facebook and the data firm Cambridge Analytica, which The New York Times and The Guardian revealed had improperly obtained the data of over 50 million Facebook users.

“This hearing will be an important opportunity to shed light on critical consumer data privacy issues and help all Americans better understand what happens to their personal information online,” a statement from the committee says.

(L R) Turnbull and Nix Cambridge Analytica 2
Cambridge Analytica CEO Alexander Nix was secretly filmed bragging that his company could influence elections. Channel 4 News

The Trump campaign employed Cambridge Analytica during the 2016 presidential race, though it is unclear whether any of the Facebook data was used to target voters. The former Trump campaign CEO and former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon was involved with the firm and has since said he came up with the name.

For Facebook, the controversy centres on Cambridge Analytica’s improper collection of Facebook user data and the way Facebook reacted once it learned of it. Much of the data was collected many years ago, when Facebook allowed third-party researchers to collect data of both willing participants and their friends.

Zuckerberg initially responded to the news with silence, though he’s since been on a public-relations offensive in which he has participated in interviews, offered apologies, and, now, agreed to appear in front of Congress.