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Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg has said he is "open" to testifying before the US Congress on the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Mr Zuckerberg was being interviewed for the first time since his company shed tens of billions of dollars of its value amid concerns over the alleged harvesting of user data by the UK political consultancy firm.

Cambridge Analytica, which was hired by Donald Trump's campaign team, has been accused of illegally using the personal data of 50 million Facebook users.

Mr Zuckerberg told CNN: "The short answer is I'm happy to (testify) if it's the right thing to do."

He suggested executives might be better qualified to answer questions, however.

Image:Mark Zuckerberg told CNN he would consider testifying before congress

He said that it was "clearly a mistake" to trust Cambridge Analytica in 2015 when it said it would delete the data it had gained from Facebook, the world's largest social media network.

Apologising for the "breach of trust", Mr Zuckerberg said: "I'm really sorry this happened.

"We have a basic responsibility to protect people's data."

:: Facebook had 'wild west' approach to data security

He also said, however, that he had not seen a "meaningful number of people" deleting their accounts on the social network since news of the scandal broke.

Cambridge Analytica is being investigated by the ICO
Image:Cambridge Analytica is being investigated by various bodies

Facebook is currently facing investigations by authorities in the UK, EU and the US and Mr Zuckerberg has been sent a formal request to appear before British MPs and answer questions.

The scandal has also strengthened calls for Facebook and other social media to be subject to regulation but Mr Zuckerberg said he was not against this.

"I'm not sure that we shouldn't be regulated.

"I think technology is an increasingly important trend in the world.

"I actually think the question is more: what's the right regulation, rather than, yes or no, should it be regulated."

:: Cambridge Analytica scandal – The key players

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Mr Zuckerberg was speaking just hours after he posted a statement online saying his company "made mistakes" over the alleged misuse of users' data.

He also said that Facebook was committed to stopping interference in the US midterm election in November and upcoming elections in India and Brazil.

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