Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to meet European Parliament over privacy

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to meet European Parliament over privacy

Mark Zuckerberg may not have plans to travel to the United Kingdom, where he is refusing demands to address the county's lawmakers in-person, but he will soon fly to Brussels to meet with leaders of the European Union's Parliament, a Facebook spokesperson confirmed Wednesday.

He is expected to meet EU party leaders as well as members of the EU Parliament's civil liberties committee as part of his evidence session.

"The founder and CEO of Facebook has accepted our invitation and will be in Brussels as soon as possible, perhaps as early as next week, to meet the presidents of the political groups", Tajani said in a statement on May 16.

"If Mark Zuckerberg truly recognizes the "seriousness" of these issues ... we would expect that he would want to appear in front of the Committee and answer questions that are of concern not only to Parliament, but Facebook's tens of millions of users in this country", Collins said.

In a statement Facebook said it welcomed the chance to meet MEPs and "appreciate the opportunity for dialogue, to listen to their views and show the steps we are taking to better protect people's privacy".

"The Conference of Presidents chose to organise a hearing with Facebook and other parties concerned".

Facebook has been under scrutiny on both sides of the Atlantic in the aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica data scandal.

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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.

Around 2.7 million of these users were European residents, according to the European Commission.

Mr Zuckerberg's appearance before European Union politicians comes just ahead of the bloc's new data protection laws, which Facebook has said it will only implement within its jurisdiction - standing in contrast to Apple, which has said it will apply the same privacy standards worldwide.

Facebook has already introduced changes to its privacy policy to comply with the new rules.

The British parliament also requested that Zuckerberg answer questions from lawmakers but the firm's chief technology officer attended that hearing instead.

- Dylan Byers contributed reporting.

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