Mark Zuckerberg defended Facebook's business model on Wednesday against fierce criticism of how it feeds user data to advertisers, even as he admitted his own personal information had been leaked to outside companies.
Facing tough questioning in a second day of high-stakes hearings in Congress, the 33-year-old CEO conceded that regulation of social media companies -- under mounting scrutiny over the misuse of user data -- is "inevitable."
But he stiffly defended Facebook's use of the data and postings of the 2.2 billion users of its free platform -- in order to attract the ad revenue that the $480 billion company depends on.
Speaking in the wake of a scandal over the massive leak of data to a British political consultant, Zuckerberg reiterated that the company had shut down the pipeline that allowed such data, including his own, to slip into the hands of third parties.
Yet in his testimony, he was also steadfast in arguing that Facebook's users themselves are choosing to make their data available.
"Every time that a person chooses to share something on Facebook, they're proactively going to the service and choosing that they want to share a photo, write a message to someone."
Zuckerberg faced tougher questions from House lawmakers over Facebook's stance than during Tuesday's five-hour session in the Senate, where his defense of data sharing was weakly challenged.
Zuckerberg said he accepted that legal restrictions of some sort were in the cards -- while adding a word of caution.
"The internet is growing in importance around the world in people's lives, and I think that it is inevitable that there will need to be some regulation," he said.