Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg will send one of his deputies to give oral evidence in the UK parliament over the case of the Cambridge Analytica firm, accused of data harvesting, Facebook stated in a letter released Tuesday.
“Facebook fully recognizes the level of public and Parliamentary interest in these issues and support your belief that these issues must be addressed at the most senior levels of the company by those in an authoritative position to answer your questions. As such Mr. Zuckerberg has personally asked one of his deputies to make themselves available to give evidence in person to the Committee,” the letter, dated March 26, read.
According to the letter, Facebook will send either its chief technology officer Mike Schroepfer, or chief product officer Chris Cox.
“Both Chris Cox and Mike Schroepfer report directly to Mr Zuckerberg and are among the longest-serving senior representatives in Facebook’s 15-year history,” the company highlighted.
Zuckerberg’s statement comes after Damian Collins, the chair of the Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport Committee of the UK House of Commons requested that Zuckerberg appear in person to testify, adding that the parliament was awaiting his response by Monday evening.
Earlier in March, media reported that the personal information of about 50 million Facebook users had been harvested without their permission by the firm Cambridge Analytica. The firm reportedly worked for multiple political campaigns, including for President Donald Trump’s campaign during the 2016 election, and gathered data from social media accounts to develop a mechanism that would predict and influence the behavior of voters.
According to media reports, Facebook learned of the fact that Cambridge Analytica had access to the personal information of the social network’s users, after which it demanded that the data analysis firm delete the acquired information. The firm assured Facebook that its requirement had been met, however, last week Facebook learned that the data had not been completely destroyed.
On Thursday, Zuckerberg apologized for the situation with Cambridge Analytica and admitted that he should not have trusted the firm. He has said that there were several mistakes that led to the situation, adding that most of the actions needed to prevent this from happening again were already taken years ago.