Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg will testify to Congress on April 10 and 11

The social network's chief will head to Washington to appear before Senate and House committees to answer questions about privacy and user data.

Alfred Ng Senior Reporter / CNET News
Alfred Ng was a senior reporter for CNET News. He was raised in Brooklyn and previously worked on the New York Daily News's social media and breaking news teams.
Alfred Ng
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Mark Zuckerberg is set to testify to Congress after facing political pressure to answer for Facebook's Cambridge Analytica scandal.

James Martin/CNET

Mark Zuckerberg just switched from "maybe" to "attending" for congressional hearings. 

The Facebook CEO will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee and Commerce Committee at 2:15 p.m. ET on April 10, the committees announced Wednesday. The next day he'll face the House Energy and Commerce Committee at 10 a.m. ET.

Zuckerberg has faced massive pressure to answer to lawmakers in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal that erupted last month. A whistleblower had revealed that Facebook's data privacy policies allowed for the UK-based analytics firm to use unauthorized information from 50 million users. The social network, which has more than 2 billion users who log on at least once a month, has been doing damage control ever since -- running full-page apologies in major newspapers, updating its privacy tools, asking users whether they think it's "good for the world."

"This hearing will be an important opportunity to shed light on critical consumer data privacy issues and help all Americans better understand what happens to their personal information online," committee chairman Greg Walden, a Republican from Oregon, and ranking member Frank Pallone Jr., a Democrat from New Jersey, said in a joint statement Wednesday

Zuckerberg has never testified to Congress before, but has said he was willing to if he was the right person to provide answers. Last week, he turned down an invitation from the UK Parliament to testify, offering to send the company's chief technology officer, Mike Schroefper, or chief product officer, Chris Cox, instead.

The House Energy and Commerce committee issued its invitation to Zuckerberg on March 23. The Senate Judiciary Committee has also called for Zuckerberg to testify, as has the House Intelligence Committee. 

It's unclear if Zuckerberg will be testifying to other committees while on Capitol Hill. "Conversations with other committees continue," a Facebook spokesman said Wednesday.

The announcement comes a day after Zuckerberg announced that Facebook was taking down more than 270 pages linked to Russian trolls.

CNET's Richard Nieva contributed to this report.

First published April 4 at 5:42 a.m. PT.
Updated 6:17 a.m. PT: Added comment from Facebook.
Updated 5:31 p.m. PT: Adds news that Zuckerberg will testify before Senate Judiciary and Commerce committee hearings. 

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