Facebook founder to appear before US Congress over data hijacking row

Mark Zuckerberg will answer questions on the company’s “use and protection of user data”

Facebook founder to appear before US Congress over data hijacking row

File photo: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks at his company's annual F8 developer conference, 18-04-2017. Image: Noah Berger/AP/Press Association Images

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is set to testify before a US congressional committee over the alleged hijacking of millions of user’s data.

The US House Energy and Commerce Committee has announced that Mr Zuckerberg will answer questions on the company’s “use and protection of user data” next Wednesday April 11th.

The social media giant is under investigation by authorities in the US, UK, and EU over a reported data incident that allowed political consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica to harvest data from 50 million users.

The firm has worked with political groups all around the world – including US President Donald Trump’s election campaign.

The harvested data was allegedly used to create user profiles in an effort to target political advertisements and influence voters.

Testify

Senior Facebook executives have been summoned to appear before MPs in the UK and Congress in the US.

The US committee confirmed this afternoon that Mr Zuckerberg had accepted its invite.

"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," it said in a statement.

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

Questions

Mr Zuckerberg was also invited to appear before a UK parliamentary inquiry over the alleged abuse of Facebook users' data, but refused to attend.

He offered to send senior executives to give evidence in his place.

The Facebook founder has also been invited to appear before the US Senate Judiciary Committee next Tuesday alongside the heads of Google and Twitter.

With reporting from IRN ...