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Zuckerberg urged to testify to House committee

In a letter, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce calls on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to personally answer questions at an upcoming hearing.

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A House committee is awaiting Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's RSVP/

Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Leaders of the US House Committee on Energy and Commerce want Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to personally testify in an upcoming hearing about the misuse of user data.

In a letter sent to Zuckerberg on Friday, committee members said he's the person that Facebook should send to testify before Congress. Last fall, Facebook sent its general counsel to congressional hearings about Russia's use of social media to influence the 2016 presidential election.

The letter seems less an invitation than an effort to convince Zuckerberg to appear voluntarily.  

"As the Chief Executive Officer of Facebook and the employee who has been the leader of Facebook through all key strategic decisions since its launch, you are the right person to testify before Congress about those decisions and the Facebook business model," the letter reads.

The letter references the scandal that exploded last weekend when The Guardian and The New York Times published articles about Cambridge Analytica, a data consultancy that gained unauthorized access to about 50 million Facebook users' data and allegedly exploited it for the 2016 presidential campaign of Donald Trump.

Facebook didn't immediately respond to CNET's request for comment.

"We appreciate Facebook's willingness to provide a briefing for staff earlier in this week," the letter said, "However, at that briefing many questions were left unanswered."

The hearing, which will take place in the "near future," will explore Facebook's policies, particularly regarding the use of and access to user data.