Mark Zuckerberg has told US senators that his own personal data was passed on to third parties as part of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
Answering a question from Representative Anna Eshoo, who was reading questions from her constituents in Silicon Valley, Zuckerberg was asked whether he was one of the 87 million people whose data was handed to the controversial analysis firm.
“Was your data included in the data sold to the malicious third parties…your personal data?” Eshoo asked.
Zuckerberg replied: “Yes”.
Speaking on the second day of two congressional hearings, it is not yet clear if the 33-year-old was referring to the “thisisyourdigitallife” quiz that was at the heart of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, or some other third-party breach which has yet to be disclosed.
Facebook started notifying the 87 million people affected by the data breach this week, the vast majority of whom are expected to be located in the US – with around a million users affected in the UK.
The breach occurred in 2013 when Cambridge academic Aleksandr Kogan created a personality quiz, which users were then paid to take part in.
At the time, Facebook’s data sharing rules meant they could have access to not only the 270,000 people who took part, but also all of their friends’ data, meaning up to 87 million people’s information may have been shared.
Zuckerberg has spent the last two days in Washington DC where he has been giving evidence to Congress.
The hearings were organised in the wake of revelations published by the Observer newspaper, and by the ongoing investigation into Russia’s used of Facebook to try and interfere with the 2016 US Presidential election.
While Tuesday’s hearing was criticised for not placing Zuckerberg under enough pressure, he has experienced considerably more scrutiny during his hearing with the House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce on Wednesday.