Mark Zuckerberg’s Second Day of Congressional Testimony: Here’s What To Expect from the House Hearing
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has already survived a day of meetings on Capitol Hill on Monday and testimony before the Senate Commerce and Judiciary Committees on Tuesday. On Wednesday, he’ll face the House Energy and Commerce Committee, bringing his barrage of questioning from Congress to a close.
Zuckerberg’s prepared remarks for the House hearing are identical to those that he gave to the Senate committee ahead of Tuesday’s testimony. They focus on data privacy, the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Russian election interference, and what Facebook is doing to better address these concerns.
According to a background memo published on the Energy and Commerce Committee’s website, the committee members may press the following lines of questioning:
- Did Facebook allow the harvesting and sale of user data without their consent?
- Did Facebook violate its own policies with respect to the sharing of user data?
- How have Facebook’s policies regarding consumer privacy changed since the launch of the Facebook platform?
- What changes has Facebook made or does it plan to make regarding its use of user information and how that information is made available to third parties?
The committee currently has 55 members, including 31 Republicans, and is chaired by Rep. Greg Walden, a Republican from Oregon. Ahead of Wednesday’s hearing, Walden spoke to Fox News, telling the network that the hearing will focus on transparency, accountability, and trust.
While Walden implied that much of the hearing will focus on Zuckerberg’s own role in the exploitation of users’ personal data, he also noted that the “lens is bigger than just Facebook,” saying that the committee will not rule out asking other companies, such as Twitter and Google, to testify at a later date. Walden also emphasized the importance of the users’ expectations and how to rebuild public trust, suggesting that the committee will investigate whether public policy involvement will be required going forward.
Zuckerberg himself has fared relatively well during his time on The Hill so far. He was seen as the winner of Tuesday’s hearing before the Senate, as he maintained his composure, stayed on message, and fielded gentler-than-expected questions from lawmakers. Facebook investors rewarded his performance with a 4.5% boost to the company’s shares, which added $21.3 billion to the company’s market value and nearly $3 billion to Zuckerberg’s personal net worth.