Zuckerberg to Testify Before Senate

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has agreed to testify before a joint hearing of the Senate Judiciary and Commerce Committees.

The hearing will be April 10, a day before he is already scheduled to testify before the House Energy & Commerce Committee.

Zuckerberg will be the only witness at the 2 p.m. hearing, entitled" Facebook. Social Media Privacy, and the Use and Abuse of data.

Related: Zuckerberg to Testify in House

Facebook acknowledged this week that the data of as many as 87 million users may have been mined without their permission by Cambridge Analytica and used to build profiles to sell to political campaigns, including that of President Trump.

"“Facebook now plays a critical role in many social relationships, informing Americans about current events, and pitching everything from products to political candidates,” said Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), Commerce Chairman. “Our joint hearing will be a public conversation with the CEO of this powerful and influential company about his vision for addressing problems that have generated significant concern about Facebook’s role in our democracy, bad actors using the platform, and user privacy.”

The announcement came not long after Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) a member of Commerce, renewed his call for Zuckerberg's testimony.

“The tsunami of outrage incited by the Cambridge Analytica revelations has made one thing perfectly clear - the American people demand to regain control over their sensitive information," said Markey of the news that Zuckerberg would indeed make a visit to the Senate. "Facebook’s announcement that ‘malicious actors’ collected information about most of its two billion users is the latest in a disturbing series of revelations demonstrating Facebook’s failure to protect its users’ privacy. Mark Zuckerberg must explain what recourse will be provided to users who have already been subjected to abusive and intrusive invasions of their privacy and how Facebook's new policies will give the American public meaningful control over their sensitive information.”

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.