Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he is "happy" to testify before the US Congress over a data scandal involving British consulting firm Cambridge Analytica that affected 50 million users of the social media platform.
Speaking in an interview with reporters on Wednesday (Mar 21), he said: "This was a major breach of trust. I’m really sorry this happened. We have a basic responsibility to protect people’s data."
He told reporters that Facebook was committed to stopping interference in the US midterm election in November and elections in India and Brazil.
Zuckerberg said he was open to additional government regulation and happy to testify before the US Congress if he was the right person.
"I'm not sure we shouldn't be regulated," he said. "I actually think the question is more what is the right regulation rather than yes or no, should it be regulated? ... People should know who is buying the ads that they see on Facebook."
He added that Facebook should not have trusted Cambridge Analytica in 2015 when the firm said it would delete Facebook data and that Facebook's audit of data prior to 2014 will review thousands of third-party apps.
However, in a statement to reporters, Zuckerberg said that the social media platform has found no link between Cambridge Analytica and Russia's internet research agency.
He was also quoted by reporters as saying that he has not seen a meaningful number of people deleting accounts and that he did not think the ad model used by Facebook was going to go away as the company had to stay "very cheap or free".
The world's largest social media network is facing growing government scrutiny in Europe and the United States about a whistleblower's allegations that London-based political consultancy Cambridge Analytica improperly accessed user information to build profiles on American voters which were later used to help elect US President Donald Trump in 2016.
Zuckerberg, in his first public comments since the scandal erupted at the weekend, said in a post on Facebook that the company "made mistakes, there's more to do, and we need to step up and do it."
Zuckerberg did not elaborate on what the mistakes were, but he said the social network plans to conduct an investigation of apps on its platform, restrict developer access to data, and give members a tool that lets them more easily disable access to their Facebook data.
In a separate statement to website Recode, Zuckerberg also said that he is "sure someone's trying" to meddle in elections via Facebook now.