Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) added her voice to the chorus of lawmakers calling for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify on the scandal that has consumed his company over the past few days.
Speaking at an artificial intelligence event hosted by The Washington Post, Cantwell criticized Zuckerberg for his silence in the wake of reports that Cambridge Analytica illegitimately accessed data from 50 million users to help President Donald Trump on the campaign trail.
“There’s a lot of people I’d like to hear from on this thing, writ large,” Cantwell said, in response to a question about Cambridge Analytica. “I think that Mr. Zuckerberg should make himself available to discuss where technology is going in the future and discuss the challenges that we face in this realm and add to the debate, not be silent on it.”
Facebook held an all-hands meeting Tuesday but Zuckerberg and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg did not attend, according to The Daily Beast. A spokesperson told the publication that Sandberg and Zuckerberg were “working around the clock,” on the Cambridge Analytica issue. Facebook suspended the firm from its platform and is conducting an investigation into the leak.
Cantwell is one of many politicians demanding answers from Zuckerberg — on this scandal and how Facebook is being used more broadly to influence elections. British lawmakers have asked Zuckerberg to testify before parliament and attorneys general from Massachusetts and New York are investigating the incident. In a letter to Zuckerberg, Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon said, “the ease with which Cambridge Analytica was able to exploit Facebook’s default privacy settings for profit and political gain” raises serious questions about “Facebook’s business practices and the dangers of monetizing consumers’ private information.”