Sunday, 20 May, 2018

Facebook founder to meet European Union parliament, but privately

Cambridge Analytica's chief executive officer Alexander Nix gives an interview during the 2017 Web Summit in Lisbon Mark Zuckerberg agrees to meeting with EU officials in Brussels
Emmett Howard | 18 May, 2018, 11:22

Many in the European Parliament had been calling for a public hearing.

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.

Facebook, in an emailed statement, said it accepted the "proposal to meet with leaders of the European Parliament and appreciate the opportunity for dialog, to listen to their views and show the steps we are taking to better protect people's privacy". The other half of the Parliament wanted the Facebook's founder to publically answer the questions in front of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs.

"Our citizens deserve a full and detailed explanation", Tajani said in a statement posted on Twitter.

And now Zuckerberg is to appear before the European Parliament, and has reportedly even agreed to meet with the French president, Emmanuel Macron, next Wednesday. 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.

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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. "There should be no double standards for the U.S. Congress and the European Parliament", - stated the co-Chairman of the faction "Greens - Free Alliance of Europe", Philippe Lamberts.

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

"I will not attend the meeting with Mr Zuckerberg if it's held behind closed doors".

Zuckerberg's Brussels visit comes just days ahead when European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into play on May 25. "It must be a public hearing - why not a Facebook Live?" tweeted Guy Verhofstadt, a Belgian politician who is also a Brexit negotiator on behalf of the European Parliament. "It is a step in the right direction towards restoring confidence", he said.

"Although Facebook says Mr Zuckerberg has no plans to travel to the United Kingdom, we would also be open to taking his evidence by video link, if that would be the only way to do this during the period of our inquiry", committee chairman, Damian Collins writes in a letter to Facebook.

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