Zuckerberg faces Congress

The Facebook founder will face Congress over the 87 million profiles that have been hacked.

Mark Zuckerberg will face Congress on April 9.

Mark Zuckerberg will face Congress on April 9.

Facebook has been accused of having 87 million Facebook profiles being hacked and information of those exposed. This comes in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal that left the information of tens of millions of Facebook users exposed. This is also amid enduring questions about how Russia and other bad actors have used the platform to influence US politics.

Facebook and Zuckerberg have come under harsh criticism following revelations that Cambridge Analytica, a data analytics firm used by the Trump campaign in the 2016 election, was secretly taking personal data from 87 million Facebook users.

Zuckerberg has faced many media outlets about the scandal, also he has been met with questions about Facebook’s handling of its users’ data and information. The Facebook team is also working to address continued questions over its role in the Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

With the problems revealed about Facebook, questions are now being addressed to the other social media platform such as Twitter and Instagram. Are our profiles safe and secure or can this happen again?

Representatives for Facebook, Twitter, and Google testified before Congress regarding Russian disinformation last fall. Zuckerberg and the other companies’ top executives did not attend.

Recently Facebook  has faced a high level of scrutiny over its handling of user data and is under investigation by the Federal Trade Commission on suspicion of violating an agreement in 2011 to protect its users’ privacy.

The New York Times and The Observer reported last month that Cambridge Analytica had obtained data from 50m people who were in the networks of the 270,000 users of a survey app run by a Cambridge professor.

This higher estimate  raises the political stakes for Mr. Zuckerberg, who is scheduled to appear before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on April 11. He is scheduled to answer questions about user privacy, the data leak and the discovery of Russian election meddling on the social network.

Greg Walden, the Republican committee chairman, and Frank Pallone Jr, the Democratic ranking member, said they appreciated Mr. Zuckerberg’s willingness to testify.

“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,” said Greg Walden.

Facebook released the revised estimate of affected users as part of an extended statement about its plans for handling personal data. The company said it would start alerting users on April 9 about whether their information may have been shared with Cambridge Analytical information online.

Rob Sherman, deputy chief privacy officer at Facebook, said the changes are designed to bring more clarity on the choices.

Pullquote Photo

“We have an ongoing effort to provide people with information about how their data is being used,”

— Rob Sherman

Mark Zuckerberg has come under criticism from the UK parliamentary committee investigating fake news after the head of Facebook refused an invitation to testify in from of MPs for a third time.

Facebook said it would send Mr. Schroepfer or Chris Cox, chief product officer, to appear before the UK parliament’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee. Damian Collins, the committee’s chair, said he would reissue the invitation, asking Mr. Zuckerberg to give evidence by video link.

Mr. Zuckerberg’s appearance before Congress will be one of the most high profile by a chief executive in recent years in Washington.

After Mr. Zuckerberg testifies, will this make changes throughout the whole social media platforms? Be sure to stay updated during and after the events that will unfold on April 9.