Zuckerberg meets with lawmakers ahead of congressional testimony into Cambridge Analytica scandal

Zuckerberg meets with lawmakers ahead of congressional testimony into Cambridge Analytica scandal

The company is facing the worst privacy crisis in its 14-year history after whistleblowers revealed that the personal information of tens of millions users, mainly in the United States, was obtained by political consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica.

Facebook Inc FB.O Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg met USA lawmakers individually on Monday and told Congress in written testimony that the social media network should have done more to prevent itself and its members' data being misused. Both start by saying that Facebook "understands the importance of keeping your data safe", but that's as far as the commonality goes.

The claims here have clear parallels to Cambridge Analytica, a British political consulting firm that obtained data of 87 million users - those who took a personality quiz, and their friends.

Zuckerberg is scheduled to appear before the Senate Judiciary and Senate Commerce Committees tomorrow, and the House Energy and Commerce Committee the day after. The CEO will face questions over the data harvesting scandal, and also be asked about the spread of misinformation on his platform - "fake news" - and interference with elections.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is bracing for back-to-back congressional hearings starting Tuesday over the abuse of his massive social media site and private data breach scandals from the 2016 presidential election.

Zuckerberg did not respond to questions as he entered and left a meeting with Senator Bill Nelson, the top Democrat on the Senate Commerce Committee.

In spite of all this, there have been calls for Zuckerberg to step down as Facebook boss. The company has said that as many as 146 million people may have received information from a Russian agency that's accused of orchestrating much of the cyber meddling in the election.

By flooding the zone with product fixes and executive interviews, Facebook has effectively armed Zuckerberg with more convincing talking points to use when he gets grilled by Congress.

More news: Struggling Tesla speeds up production of Model 3 vehicles

The testimony is Mr. Zuckerberg's first public appearance in front of lawmakers and is considered by many to be the most important test of his career since a 2012 initial public offering helped catapult Facebook into one of the world's more valuable and powerful companies.

"The government has taken serious note of the points made by Facebook and CA and will soon decide on the next line of action", the person said.

Paul Argenti, a professor of corporate communication at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, says the numerous Facebook announcements are not doing the company any favors.

Since 2016, Facebook has faced an array of controversies related to its platform.

Facebook has been in troubled waters ever since the Cambridge Analytica's data breach has been reported.

"For most of our existence, we focused on all the good that connecting people can bring", Zuckerberg's planned testimony says. Associated Press reporters around the world have been surveying users, none of whom have reported seeing anything from Facebook. Facebook shares were up 1.7 percent in afternoon trading.

Zuckerberg's written statement was released ahead of two days of congressional hearings in which he will not only try to restore public trust in his company but also stave off federal regulation that some lawmakers have floated.

Technology industry officials said they also expected Zuckerberg's testimony to be long on political point scoring and short on legislative ideas.

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