Rhode Island Congressman David Cicilline wants Republican representatives to get vocal about Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal. On Thursday, he called out GOP House members for their radio silence regarding the data breach on Cheddar’s Morning Bell.
A number of Democrats, including Senators Ed Markey and Amy Klobuchar, have called on Mark Zuckerberg to testify under oath. Cicilline wants to see a bipartisan effort to get the Facebook CEO before Congress, instead dividing this issue among party lines. “I think you’ll hear additional calls to bring Mr. Zuckerberg before the judiciary committee from other members,” says Cicilline. “I haven’t seen that yet from any of our Republican colleagues. I hope respecting the privacy of the American people doesn’t become a partisan issue.”
Zuckerberg already stated Wednesday that he’d be “happy” to testify before Congress, but before that happens the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Bob Goodlatte, needs to agree to have a hearing on the matter. Cicilline has reportedly sent a letter to Goodlatte, asking that he invite Zuckerberg to testify.
Cicilline believes Goodlatte’s decision will determine whether or not Republicans will begin speaking out against Facebook’s role in Cambridge Analytica’s harvesting of 50 million users’ private information. “That will send a signal to the other Republicans that it is okay to express their concerns,” he says.
After days of silence, Zuckerberg finally offered his thoughts about what lead up to the scandal and what Facebook could do to prevent something similar occurring in the future. However, his responses left many questions unanswered, including how many apps similar to the one used by Cambridge Analytica may have also had access to users’ private information until the site changed its policies in 2014.
Given Zuckerberg’s comments to CNN, it looks like he would be up for appearing before the House Judiciary Committee at some point. For now, it’s clear that this scandal will bring the actions of many popular social media companies under heavy scrutiny.