Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday, April 11, at 10 a.m. The social media mogul will be discussing his “company’s use and protection of user data,” according to a statement released by the committee.
“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,” the statement said.
“We appreciate Mr. Zuckerberg’s willingness to testify before the committee, and we look forward to him answering our questions on April 11th,” it continued.
The House Energy and Commerce Committee is chaired by Greg Walden (R-Ore.) with Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-N.J.) serving as ranking member.
Facebook and Zuckerberg have found themselves in the middle of a media firestorm after the recent revelation that the company failed to properly safeguard user information.
Cambridge Analytica, a London-based firm, reportedly improperly accessed over 50 million Facebook users private information during the 2016 presidential campaign. Those users were not notified that their personal information was being accessed without their permission.
The Senate Commerce Committee, in response to the allegations, has opened an inquiry into the Cambridge Analytica, their parent company Strategic Communications Laboratory, and Facebook.
Cambridge Analytica was founded by one of President Donald Trump’s former advisor’s, Steve Bannon, along with prominent Republican donor Richard Mercer.
Bannon, for his part, claims that the company did not purchase user data from Facebook, though a one-time employee seems to say otherwise.
Recently, Zuckerberg released a statement on Facebook saying that “mistakes” had been made and his company has “a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can’t then we don’t deserve to serve you.”
Conversely, when asked to testify before the UK Parliament, Zuckerberg refused.
“I think, given the extraordinary evidence we’ve heard so far today, it is absolutely astonishing that Mark Zuckerberg is not prepared to submit himself to questioning in front of a parliamentary or congressional hearing,” Damian Collins, the chair of a UK parliamentary committee investigating Facebook and Cambridge Analytica said, according to The Guardian.
In light of these events, Facebook stock has taken a tumble. And many analysts assume that it will continue to do so.