Hi-Tech

Facebook's Zuckerberg bound for Brussels

Facebook's Zuckerberg bound for Brussels

Mark Zuckerberg has agreed to meet with European parliament in private on May 22 in Brussels.

The social media service was roundly criticized after it became widely publicized that political consultant firm Cambridge Analytica accessed the personal data of some 87 million Facebook users without their consent.

Věra Jourová, the European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, said on her Twitter profile that she is glad to see Mark Zuckerberg accept this invitation but that it is pity it will not be a public hearing since many Europeans deserve to know exactly how their data is being handled.

Reports from New Scientist states that the researchers at the University of Cambridge have uploaded user data from 3 million Facebook users onto a shared portal. Collins warned Zuckerberg last month that if he does not come voluntarily, he could be issued a formal summons, which would force him to appear before the parliament when he next enters the United Kingdom. "I welcome Mark Zuckerberg's decision to appear in person before the representatives of 500 million Europeans".

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

His concern and even frustration that the leadership of the EP agreed to hold a meeting behind closed doors, was expressed by a number of parliamentarians.

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Tajani added that Zuckerberg said he will come to Brussels to testify "as soon as possible", potentially within a week.

However, there are some Parliamentary members who are unhappy that the meeting will be behind closed doors. "It's a step in the right direction towards restoring confidence".

Zuckerberg instead made a decision to dispatch his chief technical officer, Mike Schroepfer, to appear before the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee last month.

The parliament will separately organize a hearing with Facebook representatives to examine data protection that will also look at the potential impact on the election process.

A DCMS committee spokesperson confirmed no formal summons has been issued to Zuckerberg to date, although Vote Leave campaign director Dominic Cummings, and former Cambridge Analytica CEO Alexander Nix - both embroiled in the burgeoning scandal over the alleged misuse of data in political campaigns - were subject to formal summons.





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