The Facebook CEO is testifying Wednesday before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, his second and final hearing this week in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica data scandal.
Zuckerberg repeated an apology offered in the previous hearing that Facebook made a “big mistake” by not taking “a broad enough view” of its responsibility.
But he faltered somewhat when pressed by Rep. Frank Pallone, a Democrat from New Jersey, for a “yes” or “no” answer on whether Facebook would commit to changing its default settings to minimize data collection “to the greatest extent possible.”
“This is a complex issue that deserves more than a one-word answer,” Zuckerberg said. Pallone called the response “disappointing.”
The Congressional hearings come nearly a month after news broke that Cambridge Analytica, a data firm with ties to President Donald Trump’s campaign, accessed information from as many as 87 million Facebook users without their knowledge.
Zuckerberg revealed in the hearing Wednesday that his own data was exposed as well.
The Facebook CEO has said before that his industry probably needs to be regulated. He repeated that today during questioning from Rep. Fred Upton in the House hearing.
“The internet is growing in importance around the world … I think it is inevitable that there will need to be some regulation,” he said.
Zuckerberg emerged largely unscathed after a five-hour session before a joint hearing of the Senate Judiciary and Commerce committees. The hearing marked his first time ever testifying on Capitol Hill.
Senators pressed him on Facebook’s data collection practices and the potential for regulating the company. But with 44 senators asking questions, an unusually high number, and just five minutes of time allotted for each, there was limited potential for followup questions to the CEO.
The data scandal wiped away tens of billions of dollars from Facebook’s market value, prompted political scrutiny on both sides of the Atlantic and even raised the once-unthinkable question of whether Zuckerberg should step down as CEO. It also reignited long-simmering concerns about Facebook’s impact on the world’s privacy, civil discourse and domestic institutions.
Investors appeared to like Zuckerberg’s debut on Capitol Hill. Facebook stock ended Tuesday up 4.5%, but dipped slightly in early trading Wednesday.