Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg next week will make his first appearances before Congress to answer questions about the recent data misuse affecting tens of millions of Facebook users.
Zuckerberg will be the sole witness Tuesday at a joint hearing of the Senate Commerce and Judiciary committees on the same subject. “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,” Sen. John Thune, who chairs the committee, said in a statement late Wednesday.
On Wednesday, Zuckerberg will appear before the House Energy and Commerce Committee to testify at a hearing on data privacy, in particular the revelation that tens of millions of Facebook profiles, collected by a personality app, were then sold to Cambridge Analytica, a company that used the profiles to create election ad-targeting tools for Trump’s campaign.
That organization, the Internet Research Agency, based in Olgino, a part of St. Petersburg, Russia, controlled 70 Facebook accounts, 138 Facebook pages and 65 Instagram accounts Facebook recently removed from those social media networks, the company said Tuesday. Facebook owns Instagram.
Scrutiny has intensified on Facebook and its CEO in the wake of recent events. After the 2016 elections, Facebook was slow to acknowledge that shadowy entities had used the platform to manipulate voters. It’s repeatedly increased its estimates on how broad those influence campaigns were.