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Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg Faces Senate As Lawmakers Weigh Regulations

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Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg Faces Senate As Lawmakers Weigh Regulations
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg began day one of testimony on Capitol Hill over the company's data harvesting scandal.
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Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg appeared on Capitol Hill to try and convince lawmakers he's learned his lesson.

On Tuesday, he began his first round of testimony before Congress. In front of a joint Senate committee panel, Zuckerberg admitted his company has made a lot of mistakes.

Before his Senate hearing, he took full responsibility for mishandling the unauthorized data harvesting linked to the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Now, some lawmakers think Congress might need to step in.

Sen. Bill Nelson told Zuckerberg, "If Facebook and other online companies will not or cannot fix the privacy invasions, then we are going to have to."

That could have major consequences for how Facebook operates — along with other social media platforms like Twitter and Snapchat, which also publish news content and have millions of usersPost-scandal, those companies could face federal regulations.

"In the past, many of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle have been willing to defer to tech companies' efforts to regulate themselves, but this may be changing," Sen. John Thune said. "... This should be a wake-up call for the tech community."

The scandal has yet to diminish the number of Facebook's daily active users or cause irreparable damage to its bottom line, but new potential regulations could change that down the road — and not just for Facebook.

Zuckerberg appeared sympathetic to lawmakers' concerns but said Facebook was already developing new artificial intelligence tools to address them.

"This is an arms race," Zuckerberg said. "They're going to keep on getting better at this, and we need to invest to keep getting better at this, too."

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.