Facebook has been under scrutiny for some time since the data breach. On Tuesday, the company’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, will be testifying before U.S. lawmakers to explain what happened with the information harvested by Cambridge Analytica.
According to Reuters, Facebook will try to defend calls to regulate the internet-based company. In addition, the news release goes on to add that the possibility of enacting new legislation to restrict companies like Facebook is extremely unlikely. This is in part due to the effective lobbying already in place and a lack of political will.
Zuckerberg has been summoned because of the unauthorized use of data harvested by British data firm Cambridge Analytica. In the beginning, it was reported the political consultancy firm had come in possession of data from 50 million Facebook accounts. However, Facebook was alluded by a former employee and whistleblower by the name of Christopher Wylie.
Facebook announced on April 4 that the number of affected accounts was adjusted to 87 million. This has raised concerns about how the company safeguards the privacy of its users. Facebook has also seen its stock prices plummet.
Also, as reported by CNN, Facebook has lost $80 billion in market value since the revelations made about the data leak. Zuckerberg will provide testimony and address all matters related to the data incident.
The world’s largest social network company founder will appear before a joint hearing of the Senate Commerce and Judiciary Committees. Zuckerberg has drafted a detailed testimony where he outlined the company’s latest initiatives and what it will do to prevent this from ever happening again.
Democratic Senator Bill Nelson said new legislation is needed to regulate Facebook’s handling of user data. Nevertheless, Nelson confirmed he did not expect anything substantial to happen as a result of this hearing.
On the other hand, Republicans are not looking to seek any regulation. As explained in the above report, for the most part, Republicans are not in favor of increasing scrutiny or regulation of tech companies like Facebook.
“I don’t want to hurt Facebook. I don’t want to regulate them half to death,” said Republican Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana, a member of the Judiciary Committee “But we have a problem. Our promised digital utopia has minefields in it.”
The appearance of Zuckerberg and his willingness to cooperate is tied to the discussion of whether or not regulation will follow. The New York Times quoted Senator Nelson stating that Facebook could be in trouble. If any piece of legislation is proposed and subsequently passed, it could impact negatively the company’s lucrative business and advertising system.