Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify before House panel

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg will testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee next week, lawmakers said Wednesday.

Zuckerberg will testify April 11 about the social media giant’s use and protection of user data in the wake of reports that consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica inappropriately got access to the data of about 50 million Facebook users.

“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,” House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden, R-Oregon, and ranking member Rep. Frank Pallone, D-New Jersey, said Wednesday in a joint statement.

“We appreciate Mr. Zuckerberg’s willingness to testify before the committee, and we look forward to him answering our questions on April 11th.”

What You Need to Know: Facebook Data Breach

Reports surfaced last month that Zuckerberg planned to testify before Congress after he said in a statement that Cambridge Analytica got data gathered from a personality quiz app created in 2013 by Cambridge University researcher Aleksandr Kogan. The app, which was installed by about 300,000 people, asked users to share their data as well as the data of their friends, Zuckerberg said. Friends did not know that their data was being shared with the app.

“Given the way our platform worked at the time, this meant Kogan was able to access tens of millions of their friends’ data,” Zuckerberg said.

He noted that Facebook implemented measures in 2014 to prevent similar situations and better protect user privacy.

Authorities with the Federal Trade Commission confirmed last month that the agency had opened an investigation into Facebook’s privacy practices.