Facebook’s Zuckerberg agrees to meet European MEPs, says official

Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg has agreed to meet with European Parliament members behind closed-doors to answer questions in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. — Reuters pic
Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg has agreed to meet with European Parliament members behind closed-doors to answer questions in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. — Reuters pic

BRUSSELS, May 16 — Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg has agreed to meet with European Parliament members behind closed-doors to answer questions in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, a top official said today.

Senior lawmakers have “agreed that Mark Zuckerberg should come clarify issues related to the use of personal data in a meeting with representatives of the European Parliament,” the parliament’s leader Antonio Tajani said in a statement.

The meeting would take place “as soon as possible, hopefully already next week,” Tajani said.

The closed-door meeting with the parliament’s most senior deputies will anger European lawmakers who were hoping to give Zuckerberg a grilling similar to the 10-hour one he received in the US Congress last month.

Tajani had invited Zuckerberg saying the 2.7 million EU citizens affected by the data sharing scandal deserved a full explanation.

The visit comes as the EU is introducing tough new data protection rules later this month, which Facebook has said it will comply with.

Facebook admitted earlier this month that up to 87 million users may have had their data hijacked by British consultancy Cambridge Analytica, which worked for US President Donald Trump during his 2016 campaign.

The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which comes into effect on May 25, aims to give users more control over how their personal information is stored and used online, with big fines for firms that break the rules.

Zuckerberg, who has repeatedly apologised for the massive data breach, told the US Congress in April that the more stringent EU rules could serve as a rough model globally. — AFP

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