The Latest: Zuckerberg’s congressional survival guide
NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on Facebook’s privacy scandal (all times local):
Now that Mark Zuckerberg is set to testify before Congress, he’ll need advice not just from lawyers but from communications specialists, too, on addressing Facebook’s privacy scandal.
Public-relations experts who have prepped CEOs before say that congressional hearings are more political theater than public policy. The so-called “optics” — how things look — are as important as what you say.
Other advice for the Facebook CEO? Appear sympathetic and be ready for a beating. Take responsibility. Don’t feign ignorance.
The stakes are high for Zuckerberg’s April 11 appearance before the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
The company unveiled the revisions Wednesday as it faces one of its worst privacy scandals in history. Although Facebook says the changes aren’t prompted by recent events, it’s an opportune time. CEO Mark Zuckerberg is also set to testify before Congress next week for the first time.
Among Wednesday’s changes: Facebook has added a section explaining that it collects people’s contact information, which may include call logs and text histories. The previous policy did not mention call logs or text histories. Several users were surprised to learn recently that Facebook had been collecting such data.
The leaders of a House oversight committee say Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will testify before the panel on April 11.
In an announcement Wednesday, Reps. Greg Walden and Frank Pallone say the hearing will focus on the Facebook’s “use and protection of user data.” Facebook is facing scrutiny over its data collection following allegations that the political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica obtained data on tens of millions of Facebook users to try to influence elections.
Walden, R-Ore., is the House Energy and Commerce committee’s chairman. Pallone of New Jersey is the panel’s top ranking Democrat. They say the hearing will be “an important opportunity to shed light on critical consumer data privacy issues and help all Americans better understand what happens to their personal information online.”