Facebook's Zuckerberg to appear at European Parliament -speaker

Lester Mason
May 16, 2018

The founder of Facebook mark Zuckerberg acknowledged that the social network had made mistakes and apologized to users for the leak of personal data.

Mark Zuckerberg will appear before the EU Parliament in person to answer questions about Facebook's use of data.

More than a million of these victims are believed to be in the United Kingdom, but Mr Zuckerberg has so far refused to appear before British MPs, in a move they describe as absolutely astonishing. "We will continue to defend their rights", said MEP Manfred Weber of Germany, one of the parliamentary group leaders that will meet Zuckerberg.

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".

Antonio Tajani, President of the European Parliament, announced the planned meeting Wednesday.

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

Zuckerberg first explained what went wrong with the company's privacy terms during a joint Committee meeting of the US Senate in April.

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

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

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.

The announcement comes just two days after Zuckerberg declined a similar invitation from members of Britain's Parliament, where the company's chief technology officer, Mike Schroepfer, endured hours of withering criticism amid questioning over the company's handling of advertising and data before the "Brexit" vote in June 2016. Its media committee even threatened to issue an official summons when Zuckerberg next enters the country, but he's still refusing to attend.

Rebecca Stimson, Facebook U.K.'s head of public policy, sent the committee responses to each question Monday, but wrote that Zuckerberg "has no plans to meet with the committee or travel to the U.K.at the present time".

- Dylan Byers contributed reporting.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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