The fallout of the Cambridge Analytica data leak, where a political firm allegedly stole data on 50 million Facebook users in an attempt to sway the 2016 election to Donald Trump, has left Mark Zuckerberg scrambling to contain the fallout politically, financially, and among irate users moving to delete their profiles. Unfortunately for Zuckerberg, he’s not done yet, as he’s been formally “invited” to testify before Congress about the leak.
The letter, sent to Zuckerberg by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, explicitly demands his presence as “the right person to testify before Congress about those decisions and the Facebook business model” for hearings that it’s holding in the “near future.” Currently, it’s just an “invitation,” but the way the letter sent to Zuckerberg was written, it’s clear that he can either show up voluntarily to explain what happened, or he can be dragged in by subpoena.
Some sort of government testimony was likely inevitable, especially as other countries are demanding Zuckerberg testify. There’s quite a bit of outrage over the breach, with even people who believe it didn’t sway the election arguing that it’s a fairly serious problem in its own right. But it also means more headlines, more questions, and potentially some very awkward answers.