(CBS News) – Mark Zuckerberg faced a joint hearing of the Senate Judiciary and Commerce Committees on Wednesday to testify on the use of and protection of Facebook user data in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal and Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. (all times Eastern)
3:57 p.m.: Sen. Lindsey Graham grilled Zuckerberg about a lack of competition and asked him if his company is a monopoly.
“It certainly doesn’t feel that way to me,” Zuckerberg responded.
Graham then asked if Facebook would welcome regulation.
“I think if it’s the right regulation, then yes,” Zuckerberg said.
3:47 p.m.: Zuckerberg tells Sen. Maria Cantwell he doesn’t know that his employees were involved with Cambridge Analytica’s work with the Trump campaign ahead of the 2016 election.
“Senator, I can certainly have my team get back to you on any specifics I don’t know sitting here today,” Zuckerberg said.
Cantwell also asked if European privacy regulations should be applied in the U.S.
“Senator, I think everyone in the world deserves good privacy protection,” Zuckerberg responded.
3:40 p.m.: Asked by Sen. Patrick Leahy about whether Facebook has received subpoenas from special counsel Robert Mueller’s office as part of his investigation into Russian meddling, Zuckerberg first said the company had been subpoenaed and employees — but not himself — had been interviewed by investigators. He then clarified that he was not aware of specific subpoenas but said Facebook is cooperating with the investigation, work he said is “confidential.”
3:17 p.m.: Wall Street appears to approve of Zuckerberg’s performance so far, with shares climbing nearly 5 percent on the day. Other tech stocks appear to be buoyed by lawmakers’ approach to Zuckerberg, with Twitter climbing more than 7 percent on the day.
Facebook didn’t notify FTC about data misuse
3:10 p.m.: Responding to Sen. Nelson, Zuckerberg admitted that no one at Facebook notified the FTC about the data misuse in 2015. Zuckerberg said his company “considered it a closed case” after he told Cambridge Analytica and GSR to delete the illicit data.
Zuckerberg also said his company didn’t consider notifying users of the misuse because they thought the issue had been handled. Zuckerberg can’t say how many other apps have misused data.
3:02 p.m.: In response to a question from Grassley about other possible misuses of user data by outside developers, Zuckerberg said the company was still investigating apps that accessed user data before the company restricted access in 2014.
Zuckerberg said apps that misused data would be banned from the platform, but couldn’t provide an exact number of apps that have been removed.
2:53: Zuckerberg is delivering his opening statement: “We face a number of important issues around privacy, safety and democracy, and you will rightfully have some hard questions for me to answer.”
“It is clear now that we didn’t do enough to prevent these tools from being used for harm as well,” he continued. “That goes for fake news, for foreign interference and hate speech.”
2:47 p.m.: Sen. John Thune, R-South Dakota, said in his opening statement that Facebook’s “incredible reach” and what Zuckerberg described as a “breach of trust” is the cause for the hearing.
“The fact that those 87 million people may have technically consented to making their data available doesn’t make most people feel any better,” Thune said.
“In many ways you and the company you’ve created represent the American Dream,” he added. “At the same time, you have an obligation to ensure that dream doesn’t become a nightmare for the scores of people who use Facebook.”
Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Florida, cuts to the chase: “If you and other social media companies do not get your act in order, none of us are going to have any privacy anymore. That is what we are facing,”
“If Facebook and other online companies will not or cannot fix the privacy invasions, then we are going to have to — we the Congress,” Nelson said. “How can American consumers trust your company to be caretakers of their most personable and identifiable information?”
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