After news that 50 million Facebook profiles had been harvested by right-wing data firm Cambridge Analytica, Mark Zuckerberg has found himself at the eye of a political hurricane, issuing apologies and trying to avoid tough questions even as outraged users begin looking to shut their Facebook profiles off for good. And now his saga has a new wrinkle, as he tries to pick and choose his venue for hearings over Facebook’s procedures and its approach to privacy.
CNN is reporting that Zuckerberg has declined a request from the UK’s Parliament to testify, and he will instead be testifying in front of Congress at a hearing that Facebook’s lawyers are hoping other tech CEOs will attend to share the heat:
The Facebook sources believe Zuckerberg’s willingness to testify will also put pressure on Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to do the same. Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley has officially invited all three CEOs to a hearing on data privacy on April 10.
This may be optimistic. The “invitation” Zuckerberg was sent made it clear that he could attend voluntarily, or be required to attend by subpoena. And while Twitter and Google certainly have their own questions to answer over privacy, fake news, and how and where data is collected, neither of them have a problem on the scale of the Cambridge Analytica breach. Even if other CEOs are there, all the attention is going to be on Zuckerberg and his answers. And if Congress doesn’t like what it hears, this won’t be the last time Zuckerberg is in front of Congress.