Mark Zuckerberg will testify before the House Energy and Trade Committee on April 11. E & C Committee Chair Greg Walden (R-OR) and ranking member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) made the announcement this morning. clarifying that Zuckerberg will talk about the use and protection of user data by the company.
Here is what the members of Congress had to say in a prepared statement:
This hearing will be an important opportunity to shed light on the critical privacy issues of consumer data and to help all Americans better understand what is happening to their personal information online. We appreciate Mr. Zuckerberg's willingness to testify before the committee, and we look forward to him answering our questions on April 11.
All this comes amidst the biggest existential threat to Facebook that we still have to see.
In 2014, a third-party quiz application developed by Aleksandr Kogan collected data from about 50 million raw profiles. Only 270,000 people downloaded the application and participated in the survey, but at the time, Facebook allowed third parties to collect information about friends of friends.
Facebook no longer allows this data sharing and requested certification in 2015 for the deletion of this data.
Kogan collected and sold this data to Cambridge Analytica, a political company that would use information about identity, social networks and who likes to target demographics and influence voters. In 2016, the Trump campaign hired Cambridge Analytica.
Following these revelations, a movement towards #deletefacebook arose on the Internet. But it's not just users who have reacted.
On March 21, Zuck released his first response to the scandal, adding, "If ever I am the best informed person in Facebook in the best position to testify, I will do it with pleasure."
Two days later, the House and Senate warned Zuckerberg that he was the right person to testify. CNN reported March 27 that Zuck had accepted the fact that he should testify and that the Facebook team began preparing his day on the Hill.
This day now has a specific date: April 11th.