House Commerce Chair Calls On Zuckerberg To Testify

As was widely expected, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been formally asked by the leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee to testify at an upcoming hearing organized in response to reports about the firm's lax data security standards, revealed in a weekend expose about how a data analytics firm working for the Trump campaign improperly used personal data from 50 million Facebook users, per the Washington Post.

The request officially came Thursday from the House Energy and Commerce Committee, a powerful panel that oversees Facebook and its tech peers, and arrives a day after Zuckerberg limply suggested he'd be "happy" to testify...unless there's somebody at Facebook who might be better suited to the job.

Apparently, lawmakers believe Zuck is the only man for the job.

"The latest revelations regarding Facebook’s use and security of user data raises many serious consumer protection concern," said Republican Rep. Greg Walden (Ore.), the panel's chairman, and Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (N.J.), the committee's top Democrat. "After committee staff received a briefing yesterday from Facebook officials, we felt that many questions were left unanswered."

"Mr. Zuckerberg has stated that he would be willing to testify if he is the right person," they added. "We believe, as CEO of Facebook, he is the right witness to provide answers to the American people. We look forward to working with Facebook and Mr. Zuckerberg to determine a date and time in the near future for a hearing before this committee."

A spokesman for Facebook did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

Prominent Democrats like Mark Warner who pilloried Facebook following the Russia revelations late last year started demanding that Zuckerberg testify shortly after the news broke. Many were infuriated by tech CEOs decision to send their top attorneys to testify at a hearing held about efforts to curb "voter manipulation" on their platforms.

Judging by the palpable uneasiness he displayed during last night's interview on CNN - where he was roundly criticized for sounding unrepentant and robotic - we imagine Zuck is looking forward to the opportunity to set the record straight...