Zuckerberg agrees to face EU Parliament over Facebook data use

17 May, 2018, 01:18 | Author: Genevieve Gibbs
  • Social Networking Lifts Concerns About Data Misuse

"The founder and CEO of Facebook has accepted our invitation and will be in Brussels as soon as possible, hopefully already next week", said Mr Tajani.

Despite MEPs' calls last month for Zuckerberg to testify before a public, joint session of four Parliament committees, the 34-year-old billionaire is now slated to meet privately with the house's President Antonio Tajani, the leaders of its political groups, and Claude Moraes, the British MEP who chairs the powerful Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE).

Some MEPs will likely be upset by the behind-closed-doors arrangement. Last month, Zuckerberg testified before Congress to address the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal and other privacy and security issues.

It also comes as Christopher Wylie, a former worker at Cambridge Analytica, is to testify before the US Senate Judiciary Committee regarding the handling of Facebook users' data by the social media company and his former employer. Shares in the company even rose after his appearance.

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Although the scandal-hit Cambridge Analytica has since collapsed, regulators in the United Kingdom say they are continuing their investigation into the how the company harvested data from millions of Facebook users.

Yet the question of whether Zuckerberg should explain himself publicly remains a point of contention.

"Parliament's priority is to ensure the proper functioning of the digital market, with a high level of protection for personal data, effective rules on copyright and the protection of consumer rights", the statement from the European parliament president said.

"Our citizens deserve a full and detailed explanation", Tajani said.

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When queried if there was very little progress in recent weeks, he said "a little, not very little". British Science Minister Sam Gyimah told the BBC "we have helped to develop the Galileo system".

Mr Zuckerberg is likely meet European Union politicians in the same week as he attends a summit in France with President Emmanuel Macron.

The New York Times is reporting both the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Justice Department are investigating Cambridge Analytica.

Facebook said Monday that it has suspended "around 200" applications from its platform "pending a thorough investigation into whether they did in fact misuse any data".

Zuckerberg has so far declined to appear, to the British lawmakers' annoyance.

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The committee has no authority to force people who live outside the U.K.to give evidence, according to the Guardian, although it notes that the same committee got Rupert Murdoch and his son James to appear after issuing an official summons a few years ago for an inquiry into phone hacking at News of the World.



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