WASHINGTON — Facebook’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, has agreed to testify in at least one congressional hearing over the social network’s handling of customer data, according to people familiar with the decision.
Mr. Zuckerberg plans to testify in April before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the arrangements were not public. He has also been asked to testify before other congressional committees, including the Senate Judiciary and Commerce Committees.
Mr. Zuckerberg has been under pressure to appear before Congress as Facebook confronts a controversy over data privacy after Cambridge Analytica, a British political consulting firm, improperly harvested the data of 50 million Facebook users. The revelations have sparked a furor on both sides of the Atlantic, with regulators in Britain and the United States calling for Mr. Zuckerberg to explain himself.
On Monday, the Federal Trade Commission confirmed that it was investigating how Facebook handles information about its users. Politicians including Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, have also pressed for Mr. Zuckerberg to appear on Capitol Hill.
CNN earlier reported that Mr. Zuckerberg had decided to testify in front of Congress.
Mr. Zuckerberg initially resisted speaking to Congress, and had asked if a senior Facebook executive could be sent to represent the company in his name, two Facebook employees familiar with the conversations said. They said Mr. Zuckerberg had been persuaded that he needed to appear in person after the news of the last week and a public outcry over Facebook’s data and privacy settings.