Washington (AFP) – Facebook chairman Mark Zuckerberg offered apologies to US lawmakers Tuesday as he made a long-awaited appearance in a congressional hearing on the hijacking of personal data on millions of users.
Reading from his written testimony, Zuckerberg repeated a statement he had previously made, saying the misuse of data “was my mistake, and I’m sorry.”
“It will take some time to work through all of the changes we need to make, but I’m committed to getting it right,” Zuckerberg told a Senate hearing.
Zuckerberg was making his first formal appearance at a Congressional hearing, seeking to allay widespread fears ignited by the leaking of private data on tens of millions of users to a British firm working on Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.
The scandal has sparked fresh calls for regulation of social media platforms, and Facebook in the past week has sought to stem criticism by endorsing at least one legislative proposal, which would require better labeling and disclosure on political advertising.
Senator Charles Grassley, chair of one of the committees holding the hearing, said the scandal involving the British firm Cambridge Analytica “was clearly a breach of consumer trust and a likely improper transfer of data.”
The revelation on data mishandling “has exposed that consumers may not fully understand or appreciate the extent to which their data is collected, protected, transferred, used and misused,” Grassley said.
He added that the Judiciary Committee “will hold a separate hearing exploring Cambridge and other data privacy issues.”