About two weeks after U.S. legislators asked Mark Zuckerberg to testify about Cambridge Analytica’s alleged misuse of Facebook data, the CEO is scheduled to appear before the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee on April 11, Reuters reported.
“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,” Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) and Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) — the panel’s top Republican and Democrat, respectively — said in a statement.
Beyond the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee, two additional U.S. congressional committees have requested Zuckerberg appear before them. But those conversations are ongoing, according to a Facebook spokesperson.
Last month, Zuckerberg declined to testify before the British Parliament. Instead, he is opting to send other executives. According to Fortune, Zuckerberg asked one of his deputies to provide evidence to U.K. lawmakers in person. The social media company said it would either be sending Mike Schroepfer, chief technology officer, or Chris Cox, chief product officer, both of which Facebook said would be “well-placed” to answer questions on the matter.
The news follows allegations that Cambridge Analytica improperly collected personal data from Facebook users that was reportedly used to help elect U.S. President Donald Trump. As far as Cambridge Analytica is concerned, the firm has made some pretty big claims — namely, that it can take raw personality data from a subset of voters and develop complex models of individuals, which campaigns can then use to target and micro-target voter communities to move elections their way.
The firm’s most specific (and biggest) claim, however, is that it conducted this advanced voter modeling for the Trump organization during the 2016 election — and that it was on the strength of those data models that Trump was able to turn swing states, like Michigan and Wisconsin, from blue to red.