Facebook drops its opposition to California's proposed privacy law - right after Zuckerberg was grilled about its data collection practices

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Alex Brandon/AP

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg faced questions from lawmakers this week about his company's privacy practices

  • Facebook is dropping its opposition to a proposed new privacy law in California.
  • The company had previously contributed $200,000 to the opposition campaign, as did Comcast and Google.
  • Facebook moves followed CEO Mark Zuckerberg's congressional appearances this week, where he faced tough questions about his company's privacy practices.

Under scrutiny for how it collects and uses consumer data, Facebook will no longer work to defeat a proposed new privacy bill in California.

The social networking company, along with Google and Comcast, has been funding the opposition to the measure, dubbed the California Consumer Privacy Act. But it won't any longer, a company representative told KPIX, San Francisco's CBS affiliate station. 

"We took this step in order to focus our efforts on supporting reasonable privacy measures," a company representative said, according to KPIX.

Facebook representatives did not immediately respond to an email or a phone call seeking comment.

The move follows company CEO Mark Zuckerberg's second day of testimony on Capitol Hill. Zuckerberg and his company are facing scrutiny from lawmakers following the leak of data on up to 87 million Facebook users to Cambridge Analytica, a data analysis firm that worked with Donald Trump's presidential campaign.

California's proposed privacy law, which will be on the state's November ballot, would guarantee citizens the rights to see what kinds of information large companies are collecting on them, and to prohibit those companies from selling their personal information. The law would bar such companies from discriminating against customers who asked that the companies not sell their information. And it would allow consumers to sue companies over data breaches.

Facebook, Comcast, AT&T, Google, and Verizon have each contributed $200,000 to the campaign to defeat the proposal. Proponents have raised $1.35 million in cash, all from Alastair Mactaggart, a San Francisco real estate developer.

Facebook is also reportedly lobbying to weaken protections under Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act. There's no word on whether the company would continue with that effort.