Sen. Markey Renews Call for Zuckerberg Testimony

Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) has called again for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, particularly since Facebook has just revealed that the number of users whose information was used by Cambridge Analytica may have been as much as 87 million (it initially said 50 million).

Zuckerberg has already agreed to testify before the House Energy & Commerce Committee on April 11.

“We now we have 37 million more reasons why we need congressional action on data privacy online," said Markey. "The more we learn, the clearer it is that this was an avalanche of privacy violations that strike at the core of one of our most precious American values – the right to privacy," he said. "I am pleased that Facebook has begun its investigation into this matter and has shared findings with the public, but a number of important questions remain unanswered. Mark Zuckerberg must come to the Senate and tell the American people how Facebook is using, sharing, selling, and protecting their sensitive information. Now is the time for a national conversation about Americans’ privacy online.”

In announcing its plans for new restrictions on data usage, Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer said: "In total, we believe the Facebook information of up to 87 million people — mostly in the U.S. — may have been improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica."

Elsewhere on the Capitol Hill Facebook front, Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) wrote Zuckerberg asking what portions of the European Union's new data protection laws will or won't be applied to Facebook users.

“It was encouraging to learn that Mark Zuckerberg has embraced the ‘spirit’ of the European Union’s new law on data privacy but his intention falls flat when he has not committed to this type of privacy guarantee," said Rush.

The European Union's General Data Protection regulations take effect next month.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.