The silhouette of Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer and founder of Facebook Inc., is seen during the Oculus Connect 4 product launch event in San Jose, California, U.S. (Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg)  

Zuckerberg Prodded Anew by Congress to Speak on Restoring Trust

(Bloomberg) -- Embattled Facebook Inc. Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg has received another call from Congress to testify on the unfolding scandal over reports the company allowed Cambridge Analytica to harvest 50 million users’ data.

Senate Commerce Chairman John Thune, the No. 3 Republican in the chamber, and ranking Democrat Bill Nelson issued a joint statement calling on Zuckerberg to testify "in the coming weeks." The request follows a similar one from the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

“On a bipartisan basis, we believe Mr. Zuckerberg’s testimony is necessary to gain a better understanding of how the company plans to restore lost trust, safeguard users’ data, and end a troubling series of belated responses to serious problems,” they wrote.

The request comes a day after Facebook staff briefed the committee’s staff. The company has yet to deliver written answers to the committee’s requests, which come as lawmakers consider whether new laws or regulations are needed to protect privacy and require disclosure of political advertising online.

Facebook earlier said it was reviewing the House invite to testify.

“While our internal and external reviews are still ongoing, we appreciated the opportunity to explain what we know, as well as to outline both the steps we have already taken and those we will take to address these challenges," company spokesman Andy Stone said.

House Energy and Commerce Chairman Greg Walden said Friday that he thinks Zuckerberg will make “the right choice” and testify. He said that the officials Facebook sent to brief his committee couldn’t answer all their questions, which is why they need to hear from Zuckerberg.

“There’d be no reason he wouldn’t come,” the Oregon Republican told Bloomberg Radio. “He’s the face of the company. The global face of the company. I think he will cooperate.”

Other congressional committees that could call Zuckerberg to testify include the Judiciary and Intelligence panels.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.