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Is This The End of Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook?

Mark Zuckerberg, the billionaire founder and chief executive of Facebook, is facing a much tougher crowd on the House side of Capitol Hill in his second day of congressional testimony.

Lawmakers on both side of the aisle grilled Mr. Zuckerberg over his company’s handling of user data and were particularly focused on the platform’s privacy settings, which put the onus on users to protect their privacy. Both Democrats and Republicans pressed Mr. Zuckerberg about the company’s default settings, asking why Facebook required people to opt in to protect their privacy, rather than having privacy protections as the default.

Representative Frank Pallone, a New Jersey Democrat, pressed Mr. Zuckerberg on whether Facebook would agree or refuse to change Facebook’s default settings to minimize collection and use of users’ data.

“This is a complex issue that deserves more than a one word answer,” Mr. Zuckerberg answered.

“That’s disappointing to me,” Mr. Pallone responded.

The concern was echoed by Bobby Rush, a Democrat of Illinois, who pointed a finger at Mr. Zuckerberg and asked: “Why is the onus on the user to opt in to privacy and security settings?”

While Tuesday’s Senate hearing contained tough questions, the lawmakers were generally deferential to Mr. Zuckerberg. That is less the case in the House, where lawmakers have repeatedly pointed their fingers at Mr. Zuckerberg and expressed their “disappointment” with his answers.

Mr. Zuckerberg, wearing a dark suit with black tie, has remained calm and respectful in answering the questions. However, he has more frequently told lawmakers he is unsure what their question means when being asked to give direct answer.

California Democrat Anna Eshoo asked Mr. Zuckerberg bluntly: “Are you willing to change your business model to protect users’ privacy?”

“Congresswoman, I’m not sure what that means,” Mr. Zuckerberg said.

Mr. Zuckerberg was accompanied by Facebook’s top legal and policy staff. Facebook’s general counsel, Colin Stretch, and Joel Kaplan, vice president of global public policy, resumed their seats behind Mr. Zuckerberg.



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