It's a moment Mark Zuckerberg tried to avoid, but the Facebook CEO began taking questions on Tuesday from a firing squad of lawmakers keen to get answers about the company’s data privacy efforts.
The notoriously private Zuckerberg, 33, gave a brief opening statement before the Senate Judiciary and Commerce Committees, expressing personal accountability for the Cambridge Analytica scandal and a desire to take a "broader view" of Facebook's responsibility to its users, a common sentiment throughout his apology tour over the past week.
"It was my mistake and I'm sorry," Zuckerberg told lawmakers.
Byers Market Newsletter
Get breaking news and insider analysis on the rapidly changing world of media and technology right to your inbox.
Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) said Zuckerberg and Facebook have a history of apologizing. He called the company out on "a pattern of lax data practices" and asked why Facebook didn't alert users when it first learned Cambridge Analytica may have used data harvested from Facebook users.
"When we heard back from Cambridge Analytica, that they had told us they weren't using the data and deleted it, we considered it a closed case," Zuckerberg said. "In retrospect, it was a mistake."
Zuckerberg is used to the glare of the spotlight, but only when it's something he can control, such as sharing positive Facebook news or talking about his philanthropy.