Zuckerberg to testify before US Congress next week about Cambridge scandal

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will appear before a US House of Representatives committee next week to explain the Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal. The testimony is scheduled for Wednesday, April 11.

The testimony will help Americans better understand what happens to their data online, the Congressional Committee on Energy and Commerce says. Zuckerberg was under pressure to testify over the recent entanglements surrounding Cambridge Analytica, the British company that allegedly collected data from 50 million Facebook users against the rules and used it for targeted advertising in elections.

Zuckerberg previously said he would appear before Congress over the scandal. He refuses to go to the UK to answer questions from politicians in that country. In the UK, the company’s chief technology officer and chief product officer will testify at a parliamentary hearing.

The Cambridge Analytica scandal has already had many consequences in recent weeks. Facebook closed Cambridge Analytica’s Facebook account, cut how much data apps and games get, and foreman Mark Zuckerberg apologized with a post on Facebook, in interviews and this weekend with full-page ads in British newspapers.

Cambridge used a dataset from the thisisyourdigitallife application. Several hundred thousand people used the app, with information from their Facebook contacts being transferred to the servers. That was possible with the api at the time, even if it was against the rules. Facebook would have done little to prevent companies like Cambridge from obtaining and using that data.