Zuckerberg May Address Congress Over Facebook's Privacy Failures

Mark Zuckerberg now says he’d be “happy” to testify before Congress — “if it’s the right thing to do.”

Facebook’s CEO made the qualified commitment during an interview with CNN technology correspondent Laurie Segall, which aired on Wednesday during "360 with Anderson Cooper."

Among other issues that Congress may wish to discuss with Zuckerberg, Facebook is currently being accused of failing to protect the personal data of millions of users and misrepresenting its privacy practices.

During the wide-ranging interview, Zuckerberg also said he is not necessarily opposed to the government regulating Facebook. For him, the question is: “What is the right regulation?”



Zuckerberg said he would “love to see” regulation in the area of ad transparency. "If you look at how much transparency there is around TV and print ads, it's not clear why there is less on the Internet.” 

The interview came after days of silence from the CEO, which unnerved investors and analysts looking for leadership in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica controversy.

“Where the hell is he?” CNBC's Jim Cramer asked on air Tuesday.

On Wednesday, Zuckerberg posted a proposed solution to its security issues, including investigating any apps that had access to large amounts of user data before 2014 -- when Facebook took measures to limit such access.

“We need to make sure there aren't any other Cambridge Analyticas out there,” Zuckerberg told Segell. Among other regrets, Zuckerberg says Facebook should have been more transparent with users.

In 2015, Facebook learned from journalists at The Guardian that a Cambridge University researcher named Aleksandr Kogan had shared data from his personality quiz app with Cambridge Analytica. Yet the social giant never brought this to the attention of exposed users.

“I regret we didn't [inform users] at the time,” Zuckerberg said on Wednesday. 

Despite formal certification from Kogan and Cambridge Analytica that they were no longer in possession of user data, Zuckerberg also regrets believing them.

“I'm used to -- when people legally certify that they're going to do something -- that they do it,” he said. “But this was clearly a mistake in retrospect.”

Going forward, Zuckerberg said: “We need to make sure that we never make that mistake again.” The cleanup will involve reviewing thousands of apps, in Zuckerberg's estimation. “This is going to be an extensive process,” he said.

Finally, Zuckerberg said he regrets not making himself more available to the press and the public -- particularly over the last few days.

“I agree that there's an element of accountability where I should be out there doing more interviews, and as uncomfortable as it is for me to do a TV interview, I view this as an important thing,” he admitted. “I should be out there, being asked hard questions by journalists.”

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