SPECIAL REPORT: Mark Zuckerberg testifies before lawmakers

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg answers questions on Capitol Hill over user privacy amid data scandal.
12:06 | 04/10/18

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Transcript for SPECIAL REPORT: Mark Zuckerberg testifies before lawmakers
This is an ABC news special. George Stephanopoulos. Good afternoon were coming and they are because Mark Zuckerberg the CEO and founder of FaceBook is about to appear on Capitol Hill. In the wake of that privacy scandal flowing from the 2016. Campaign there you see him right there as he entered. This energy issue in commerce committee's hearing room. This scandal courses in the personal information of 87 million FaceBook users was compromised improperly taken. I company working for the trump campaign Cambridge analytic. There's a hearing room right there it is a joint committee hearing some 44 senators in attendance and there is mr. Zuckerberg his first appearance. On Capitol Hill he won he has practiced for. And one where there is a lot on the line want to bring in our congressional correspondent Mary Bruce. And there they said this is his first to their first appearance on Capitol Hill and he's got a big job to do to fend off. New regulation. Yet George this is Mark Zuckerberg first appearance before a congressional committee like this and the stakes could not be higher both for FaceBook. And a tech world at large he is about to be questioned by 44 lawmakers nearly half of the entire. US senate and they are likely to grill him on both sides of the aisle. About the user privacy about Russian battling in the US election and about his plan to protect your data. Going forward now Zuckerberg we know comes armed with an apology. He is going to take responsibility he's going to admit he made mistakes and he's going to try to convince congress. That his company can be trusted but George that may not be enough for lawmakers many we've talked with are demanding more robust oversight. And today they want to know if Mark Zuckerberg is going to get on board. He came and opening statements on the committee wrapping up. Right now senator Bill Nelson from Florida Democrat of Florida speak we laid down a Zuckerberg as well patient care through Wall Street and we're told he's gonna have an opening statement. About five cyber certain units long and then take questions from all 44 senators. In attendance. He's flanked there by his deputies is vice president public policy who worked Q my phone president George W. Bush and now we're gonna hear from mr. such as today. Is Mark Zuckerberg. Founder. Chairman. Chief Executive Officer of FaceBook. Mr. Zuckerberg it's launched FaceBook. February 4 2004. At the age of nineteen. And at that time he was a student at Harvard University. As I mentioned previously his company now has over forty billion of annual revenue. And over 20 billion monthly active users. Mr. Zuckerberg or along with his wife also established. The chain and Zuckerberg initiative. To further fill them are pretty. Call for causes. I now turn to you welcome to the committee. And whatever your statement is sorely if you have a longer one there'll be included in the record shall proceed sir. Chairman Grassley chairman fear and ranking member Feinstein right remember Nelson members of the committee. We face a number of important issues around privacy safety and democracy. Annual rightfully have some hard questions for me dancer. Before I talk about the steps we're taking to address them I want to talk about how we got here. FaceBook is an idealistic and optimistic company. For most of our existence. We focused on all the good that connecting people can do. And as FaceBook has grown people everywhere have gotten a powerful new tool for staying connected to the people they love. For making their voices heard and for building community is and businesses. Just recently we've seen the me too movement and the march for our lives organized at least in part on FaceBook. After hurricane Harvey people came together to raise more than twenty million dollars for relief. And more than seventy million biz small businesses. Use FaceBook to create jobs and growth. But it's clear now that we didn't do enough to prevent these tools for being used for harm as well. And that goes for fake news foreign interference in elections and hate speech as well as developers and data privacy. We didn't take a broad enough view of our responsibility. And that was a big mistake. And it was my mistake and I'm sorry. I started FaceBook. I run it and I'm responsible for what happens here. So now we have to go through. Are all of our relationship with people and make sure that we're taking a broad enough view of our responsibility. It's not enough to just connect people we have to make sure that those connections are positive. It's not enough to just give people a voice we need to make sure that people are using it to harm other people. Or to spread misinformation. It's not enough to just give people control over their information. We need to make sure that the developers they share it with protect their information to. Across the board we have a responsibility to not just build tools but to make sure that they're used for good. It will take some time to work through all the changes we need to make across the company. But I'm committed to getting that's right. This includes the basic responsibility. Of protecting people's information. Which we failed to do with Cambridge analytic a so here are a few things that we are doing. To address this and to prevent it from happening again. First. We're getting to the bottom of exactly what Cambridge analytic a dead and telling everyone affected. We know now is that Cambridge and Monica improperly accessed some information about millions of FaceBook members. By buying it from an app developer. That information. Britain when this was information that people generally share publicly on their FaceBook pages like names. And their profile picture and the pages thick follow. When we first contacted Cambridge athletica. They told us that they deleted the data. About a month ago we heard new reports that suggested that wasn't true. And now we're working with governments in the US the UK. Around the world to do a full audit but what they've done and to make sure they get rid of any data they may still house. Second. To make sure no other app developers out there are misusing data were now investigating every single lap that had access to a large amount of information in the past. And if we find that someone improperly used data we're gonna ban them from FaceBook and tell ever affected. Third. To prevent this from ever happening again going forward were making sure that developers can access as much information now. The good news here is that we already made big changes to our platform in 2014. That would have prevented this city specific situation from came with Cambridge analytic from occurring again today. But there's more to do and you can find more details on the steps we're taking in my written statement. My top priority has always been our social mission of connecting people building community and bring the world closer together. Advertisers and developers will never take priority over that as long as I'm running FaceBook. I started FaceBook when I was in college. We've come along white suits that. We now serve more than two billion people around the world. And every day people use our services to stay connected with the people that matter to them most. I believe deeply in what we're doing. And I know. That when we address these challenges. Will look back and few helping people connect and giving more people a voice as a positive force in the world. I realize the issues we're talking about today aren't just issues for FaceBook in our community. There issues and challenges for all of us as Americans. Thank you for having me here today. I'm ready to ticker question. It's. Streaming misstatement or reminder for those CEO memory here are Zuckerberg taking responsibility for what rent wrong during the 2016 campaign. Slowing he founded the company was his mistake. He's got the responsibility now to fix is different questions now. About five minutes from each senator on the podium as well senator Chuck Grassley the chairman of the senate judiciary nasty. Review of FaceBook handles extensive amounts of personal data for billions of users. He Sydney significant amount of that data is shared. With third party dealer Albert who beautiful you like your platform. As of this earth early this year. You did not actively monitor. Whether that data was transferred by such developers. Two other parties moreover your policies. Only prohibit transfers. By developers to party seeking to profit. From such data. Number one besides professor Hogan's transfer. And now potentially QB you. Do nor of any instances. Where user data was improperly transferred. To third party in breach of Facebook's terms. If so all how many times as that happened. And was FaceBook only made aware of that transfer by some third party. Mr. chairman thank you. As I mentioned where now conducting a full investigation into every single lap that had a access to a large amount of information. A before re locked down platform. The to prevent developers from accessing this information around 2014. We've believe that we're going to be investigating. Many apps tens of thousands of apps if we find any suspicious activity. We're going to conduct a full audit of those apps to understand how they're using their data and if they're doing anything improper. If we find it they're doing anything improper will banned them from FaceBook and we will tell ever on affected. As for past activity idea I don't have all the examples about that we've bands here but if you like picking up my team follow up at your office. Have you ever required an audit to ensure that deletion of improperly transferred data. And if so how many times. Mr. chairman. Yes we have I don't have the exact figure out how many times we have. Overall the way we've been forced or platform policy is in the past. Is we have looked out patterns of how lapses abuse RE PIs and accessed information. As well as looked into of reports that people are made to us about apps that might be during sketch effects. Going forward we're going to take a more proactive position on this and and due. Much more regular spot checks and other reviews of apps. As well as increasing the amount of audits that we do. And again I can make sure that our team follows up review on on any thing about that specific past stats that would be interest. Want to bring in our chief congressional correspondent Mary Bruce again American boy you see this strategy of contrition there from Mark Zuckerberg saying his company did not do enough. Protect people from fake news from foreign interference selections from hate speech did not do enough to protect people's privacy and he's determined to fix. Mr. chairman it Georgie is clearly trying to convey the message that he knows the buck stops with him that he's willing. An open to make changes the question is just. How many changes what kinds of changes as we mentioned earlier congress is really looking to make some larger more robust changes when it comes to oversight. Whether that's politically feasible in this climate remains to be seen but that is going to be at the crux of so much of the questioning here today just how far is Mark Zuckerberg really willing to ago. That question expected to gone now for several hours at least 43 more senators. Prepared to question Mark Zuckerberg jokingly thanks very much. You can all follow this hearing on line innings he's got coming but downloading. BBC news happen of course will be a full report tonight on world news tonight we did here have a good afternoon. This has been a special report from ABC.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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