Sen. Warner: 'I think Mr. Zuckerberg needs to come and testify before Congress'

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), the senior Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, says that social media giant Facebook hasn’t been fully transparent about its previously unreported data leak.

“I don’t think Facebook has been fully forthcoming,” Warner said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet The Press.” “I called out Facebook back in December of ’16. In the Spring of ’17, I questioned micro-targeting and the use of this really sketchy firm Cambridge Analytica. Early on for most of 2017, they blew that off.”

The social media giant recently confirmed that Cambridge Analytica, a British voter-profiling firm with ties to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, harvested private data from millions of Facebook users in 2016. Last week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg finally apologized for his company’s role in the breach and said it was taking steps to protect user data going forward.

RELATED: Cambridge Analytica scandal

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A man fixes posters depicting Cambridge Analytica's CEO Alexander Nix behind bars, with the slogan 'Our Data Not His. Go Straight To Jail' to the entrance of the company's offices in central London on March 20, 2018. The European Parliament on Tuesday invited Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg to speak following revelations that a firm working for Donald Trump's US presidential campaign harvested data on 50 million users. Facebook has faced worldwide criticism over the claims that Cambridge Analytica, the UK data analysis firm hired by Trump's 2016 campaign, harvested and misused data on 50 million members. / AFP PHOTO / Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS (Photo credit should read DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 20: In this photo illustration the logo of the strategic communication company 'Cambridge Analytica' is seen on the screen of an iPhone in front of a computer screen showing a Facebook logo on March 20, 2018 in Paris, France. Cambridge Analytica is accused of collecting the personal information of 50 million users of the Facebook social network without their consent and would have used it to develop software to predict and influence voter voting during the campaign American election according to the New York Times and the Guardian. Facebook share price fell by more than 5% Monday shortly after the opening of Wall Street. (Photo Illustration by Chesnot/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 20: A protester called Heiko Khoo sticks posters of Alexander Nix behind bars onto the windows of the offices in a demonstration against Cambridge Analytica on March 20, 2018 in London, England. PHOTOGRAPH BY Matthew Chattle / Barcroft Images (Photo credit should read Matthew Chattle / Barcroft Images / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
Christopher Wylie, a whistleblower who formerly worked with Cambridge Analytica, the consulting firm that is said to have harvested private information from more than 50 million Facebook users, speaks at the Frontline Club in London, Britain, March 20, 2018. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
A man films Christopher Wylie, a whistleblower who formerly worked with Cambridge Analytica, the consulting firm that is said to have harvested private information from more than 50 million Facebook users, for a Facebook live cast as he speaks at the Frontline Club in London, Britain, March 20, 2018. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
Christopher Wylie, a whistleblower who formerly worked with Cambridge Analytica, the consulting firm that is said to have harvested private information from more than 50 million Facebook users, arrives at the Frontline Club in London, Britain, March 20, 2018. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
A man wheels storage crates from the building that houses the offices of Cambridge Analytica in central London, Britain, March 20, 2018. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
People walk past the building housing the offices of Cambridge Analytica in central London, Britain, March 20, 2018. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
People walk past the building housing the offices of Cambridge Analytica in central London, Britain, March 20, 2018. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
Alexander Nix, CEO of Cambridge Analytica arrives at the offices of Cambridge Analytica in central London, Britain, March 20, 2018. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
A man films Christopher Wylie, a whistleblower who formerly worked with Cambridge Analytica, the consulting firm that is said to have harvested private information from more than 50 million Facebook users, for a Facebook live cast as he speaks at the Frontline Club in London, Britain, March 20, 2018. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 19: Traders and financial professionals work ahead of the closing bell on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), March 19, 2018 in New York City. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped over 330 points on Monday. Shares of Facebook dropped nearly 7 percent after news broke that analytics firm Cambridge Analytica was able to collect information on 50 million people's Facebook profiles without their consent. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 20: In this photo illustration the logo of the strategic communication company 'Cambridge Analytica' is seen on the screen of an iPhone on March 20, 2018 in Paris, France. Cambridge Analytica is accused of collecting the personal information of 50 million users of the Facebook social network without their consent and would have used it to develop software to predict and influence voter voting during the campaign American election according to the New York Times and the Guardian. Facebook share price fell by more than 5% Monday shortly after the opening of Wall Street. (Photo Illustration by Chesnot/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 19: Traders and financial professionals work ahead of the closing bell on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), March 19, 2018 in New York City. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped over 330 points on Monday. Shares of Facebook dropped nearly 7 percent after news broke that analytics firm Cambridge Analytica was able to collect information on 50 million people's Facebook profiles without their consent. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
HOLBORN, UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 20: Chief executive of Cambridge Analytica Alexander Nix arrives at the office near Holborn on March 20, 2018 in Holborn, England. PHOTOGRAPH BY Matthew Chattle / Barcroft Images (Photo credit should read Matthew Chattle / Barcroft Images / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
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Warner, who is helping probe Russia’s alleged involvement in the 2016 presidential election, said that it may be necessary to regulate large social media companies like Facebook going forward.

“All of these social media companies have said they have no responsibility for any of the content,” Warner said. “I think we have to relook at that. I think in many ways they’re media companies.”

While Democrats have been critical of Facebook and its role in the 2016 election, calling on executives like Zuckerberg to testify before Congress, they do not have the power to compel him to do so. Neither Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) nor Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has called on Zuckerberg to testify yet.

“It’s very serious what Facebook has done,” Grassley said last week. “It violated privacy. We ought to look into it, but I can’t promise a hearing at this point.”

Zuckerberg took out full-page ads in several American and British newspapers on Sunday to apologize for the “breach of trust” in the scandal.

“This was a breach of trust, and I’m sorry we didn’t do more at the time. We’re now taking steps to ensure this doesn’t happen again,” read the ads.

Warner dismissed Zuckerberg’s gesture on Sunday and reiterated his call for the Facebook founder to testify before Congress.

“I think Mr. Zuckerberg needs to come and testify before Congress, not just put an advertisement in the newspaper,” Warner said. “He said he would if he was the guy, he is the right guy. He can’t send a staff. When I’m called upon on an issue, it’s my name on the door. I mean you wouldn’t take a staff member here on your show representing me.”

“He needs to come testify before Congress and explain how they’re going to work with us to both protect privacy; there are 50 million Facebook accounts that were used by this sketchy firm, Cambridge Analytica, and how we’re going to make sure it doesn’t happen again in terms of weaponization of these social media platforms,” he added.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

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