Zuckerberg to Meet European Parliament Over Facebook Data Scandal

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has agreed to meet leaders of the European Parliament, to discuss the improper use of millions of the social network users’ data in Europe.

The parliament’s president Antonio Tajani said in a statement that Mr Zuckerberg would travel to Brussels “hopefully” as soon as next week, to answer questions about Cambridge Analytica’s use of users’ data during the 2016 US presidential election.

“The founder and CEO of Facebook has accepted our invitation and will be in Brussels as soon as possible,” Mr Tajani said in a statement posted on Twitter.

“I welcome Mark Zuckerberg’s decision to appear in person before the representatives of 500 million Europeans. It is a step in the right direction towards restoring confidence.”

Facebook confirmed that they had accepted the invitation and were appreciative of the opportunity to discuss the issue.

“(We) appreciate the opportunity for dialogue, to listen to their views and show the steps we are taking to better protect people’s privacy,” it said in a statement.

Mr Zuckerberg will meet party leaders and members of the civil liberties committee.

A hearing will also be organised to carry out an “in-depth analysis of aspects related to personal data protection” and possible impacts on European electoral processes.

The European Parliament will hold elections in May 2019.

It will involve Facebook and other parties concerned.

Mr Zuckerberg has already testified before the US House of Representatives and the Senate in April.

It came after data firm connected to President Donald Trump’s election campaign Cambridge Analytica had access to information on about 87 million Facebook users without their knowledge.

According to the European Commission, around 2.7 million of the users were European residents.

In the aftermath of the scandal, Facebook has introduced changes to its privacy policy, complying with sweeping new data protection laws introduced in Europe on May 25.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requires companies to give European citizens more control over their personal data.

The UK parliament had also invited Mr Zuckerberg to answer questions over the debacle. He has refused to attend.

Its media committee has threatened to issue an official summons when he next enters the country, but Mr Zuckerberg is still denying the request.

Facebook UK’s head of policy Rebecca Stimson told the committee on Monday Mr Zuckerberg does not have plans to meet with the committee or travel to the UK at the moment.

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