Zuckerberg: I will testify before the Congress if necessary

A boycott campaign started on Facebook after news surfaced in the media that a political data firm harvested private information from over 50 million users without their knowledge or consent.

Mark Zuckerberg

Image: Mark Zuckerberg

According a report from the New York Times, more than 40,000 people mentioned the hashtag #DeleteFacebook on Twitter on Tuesday and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Wednesday that he would testify before Congress if it’s the right thing to do.

Zuckerberg also stressed that the estimated 50 million users whose data was breached in the Cambridge Analytica debacle were “conservative”.

In his words to CNN’s Laurie Segall, the Facebook founder said: “We’re going to be even conservative on that…We may not have all of the data in our system today. So, anyone whose data might have been affected by this, we’re going to make sure that we tell.”

He continued, “And going forward, when we identify apps that are similarly doing sketchy things, we’re going to make sure that we tell people then.

“That’s definitely something that, looking back on this, I regret that we didn’t do at the time…I think we got that wrong,” he added.

“We’re committed to getting that right going forward.”

Zuckerberg has been under fire since it was confirmed that Cambridge Analytica unlawfully obtained the data, which was ultimately handed to President Donald Trump’s campaign team during the 2016 presidential election.

Facebook’s stock has plunged, costing the company millions of dollars, and more than 40,000 people have mentioned the #DeleteFacebook hashtag on Twitter on Tuesday.

Zuckerberg broke his silence Wednesday with a lengthy Facebook post that admitted mistakes but offered no apology.

He did not apologize in the interview with CNN’s Segall, though he said he would testify to Congress “if it’s the right thing to do.”

“Facebook testifies in Congress regularly,” Zuckerberg said, and he would only appear if he is the person “who will have the most knowledge about what Congress is trying to learn.”

On regulating Facebook and other Internet properties, Zuckerberg said: “I actually am not sure we shouldn’t be regulated.

“In general, technology is an increasingly important trend in the world, and I actually think the question is more ‘What is the right regulation?’

“If you look at how much regulation there is around advertising on TV, in print, it’s just not clear why there should be less on the Internet,” he said. “You should have the same level of transparency required.”