Facebook CEO Zuckerberg to meet European Parliament leaders

Facebook CEO Zuckerberg to meet European Parliament leaders

Facebook CEO has agreed to answer questions from European leaders about protecting data in private session

Facebook CEO has agreed to answer questions from European leaders about protecting data in private session

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has agreed to meet with top members of the European Parliament, according to an announcement from the legislative body’s president

“The Conference of Presidents has agreed that Mark Zuckerberg should come to clarify issues related to the use of personal data in a meeting with representatives of the European Parliament,” Antonio Tajani, president of the European Parliament, said in a statement.

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

The private, closed-door meeting will likely focus on how Facebook handles its users’ data. 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. Although the data firm was working on behalf of President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, it was able to sweep up information on about 2.7 million European residents too, according to statements from the European Commission.

“Our citizens deserve a full and detailed explanation,” Tajani added. “I welcome Mark Zuckerberg’s decision to appear in person before the representatives of 500 million Europeans. It is a step in the right direction towards restoring confidence.”

In April, Zuckerberg volunteered to testify in front of United States lawmakers regarding the Cambridge Analytica revelations. The testimony was public, unlike the proposed meeting with the European Parliament.

“We have accepted the Council of President’s proposal to meet with leaders of the European Parliament and appreciate the opportunity for dialogue, to listen to their views and show the steps we are taking to better protect people’s privacy,” Facebook said in a statement.

Zuckerberg did not comment on Tajani’s announcement.

Lawmakers in the United Kingdom have requested Zuckerberg to answer questions three separate times, and Facebook has turned down each request, instead saying Zuckerberg would want to discuss the issues with representatives from multiple European nations at once.

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