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3 things to watch for when Mark Zuckerberg testifies to Congress

3 things to watch for when Mark Zuckerberg testifies to Congress

Facebook Inc FB.O Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg met USA lawmakers individually on Monday and told Congress in written testimony that the social media network should have done more to prevent itself and its members' data being misused.

In an interview with NBC's Savannah Guthrie last week, Sandberg said there could be other companies like Cambridge Analytica that similarly obtained users' personal information from Facebook.

Earlier this week, Facebook Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer, in a blog post, gave country-specific break-up of people affected by the data breach, saying information of up to 87 million people, mostly in the United States, may have been "improperly" shared with Cambridge Analytica via a quiz app, "thisisyourdigitallife", between November 2013 and December 2015.

Zuckerberg will testify before the Senate Judiciary and Commerce committees Tuesday, and on Wednesday he'll be grilled by the House Energy and Commerce Committee. The social network has faced serious scrutiny following the 2016 U.S. presidential election, in which Russian operatives used the platform to peddle fake news and disinformation.

Now he plans to apologize to Congress, saying in prepared testimony that Facebook hasn't done enough to prevent its tools from being used for harm.

Zuckerberg also apologized for being "too slow to spot and respond to Russian interference" during the 2016 USA presidential election.

Senator Bill Nelson, the top Democrat on the Senate Commerce Committee, said on Monday that while he believed new regulation was needed in the face of Facebook's twin scandals, he did not expect anything substantive to happen.

If Zuckerberg does not provide satisfactory answers this week, Congress is more likely to push new laws to strictly regulate Facebook.

Embroiled in a massive data breach following the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook had said data on about 87 million people - mostly in the USA - may have been improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica.

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Zuckerberg, who has never testified in a congressional hearing, said in written testimony on Monday that he had made mistakes and had held too narrow a view of the social network's role in society.

The company that developed a personality quiz app, Cambridge Analytica, is at the centre of the scandal.

Facebook has taken a series of proactive steps to make up for massive lapses in protecting personal data, as lawmakers signaled they intend to get tough on privacy.

Cambridge Analytica said in a statement last Wednesday that it had data for only 30 million Facebook users. "I started Facebook, I run it, and I'm responsible for what happens here".

Mr. Zuckerberg's public remarks will be closely watched by investors.

He will also likely face questions about ads and posts placed by Russian operatives, in what US authorities believe was an attempt to influence the USA 2016 election.

"We now serve more than 2 billion people around the world, and every day, people use our services to stay connected with the people that matter to them most", Zuckerberg said in conclusion, in his formulaic manner of speaking. GBH said it had conducted surveys that estimated almost 15 per cent of Facebook users had curtailed their activity on the platform in recent weeks because of the data privacy concerns. Moreover, Facebook says it will not have approval over the research topics or findings.

Zuckerberg's full testimony is below.