Facebook's Zuckerberg to meet European Parliament over privacy

17 May, 2018, 06:57 | Author: Myra Gill
  • Tajani said it was “a decision of the Conference of Presidents ” to hold the closed-door session | Frederick Florin  AFP via Getty Images

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has accepted to visit the European Parliament to explain his company's recent privacy issues and allegations that it misused personal data.

THE US Justice Department and the FBI are investigating Cambridge Analytica (CA), the British marketing analytics firm embroiled in the Facebook data scandal, and have questioned potential witnesses, The New York Times reported on Tuesday.

While Zuckerberg testified last month to the Congress, he had always been noncommittal on his appearance in Europe, sending his chief technical officer to speak to the British parliament and delaying confirmation of any visit to Brussels.

Facebook was largely unscathed by Zuckerberg's 10 hours of testimony before US legislators in April. Shares in the company even rose after his appearance.


He might get tougher questions in Brussels, where an assertive new European data protection law comes into effect on May 25. Zuckerberg is not expected to attend those, a European Parliament spokesperson said. "It is a step in the right direction towards restoring confidence", Tajani said in the statement posted on his official Twitter account. "Our citizens deserve a full and detailed explanation". GDPR's passing came before the Cambridge Analytica scandal, but the large data breach can be seen as an example of the regulation's necessity.

Some critics say Zuckerberg's meeting with the lawmakers should be public. U.S. investors have sought to speak with banks that have handled the company's business, the Times said, citing an American official and others familiar with the investigation as saying that the probe appears to focus on CA's finances and how it obtained and used personal data from Facebook.

Facebook said Cambridge Analytica, a data firm connected to President Donald Trump's campaign, had access to information on about 87 million Facebook users without their knowledge.

Zuckerberg has so far declined to appear, to the British lawmakers' annoyance. Zuckerberg testified before the US House of Representatives and the Senate in April.

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