May 21, 2018

Zuckerberg agrees to closed-door meeting with European Parliament

18 May 2018, 11:20 | Marlene Myers

Mark Zuckerberg agrees to meeting with EU officials in Brussels

Facebook shares fall as Zuckerberg agrees to closed EU meeting

Mr Zuckerberg will be questioned by the chair of the European Parliament's justice and home affairs committee, Labour MEP Claude Moraes, and other MEPs in a session which will not be televised.

The media committee is investigating fake news, and is increasingly focused on the role of Cambridge Analytica and Facebook in the 2016 Brexit vote and in the election of U.S. President Donald Trump.

Senior lawmakers have "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", the Parliament's leader Antonio Tajani said in a statement.

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 Wednesday.

While Zuckerberg testified last month to the U.S. Congress, he had always been noncommittal on his appearance in Europe, sending his chief technical officer to speak to the British parliament and delaying confirmation of any visit to Brussels.

Last month, Zuckerberg agreed to public sessions with USA lawmakers, following a major global privacy scandal related to user data and political ad targeting.

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"The founder and CEO of Facebook has accepted our invitation and will be in Brussels as soon as possible, hopefully already next week", he added.

However, Mark Zuckerberg is only set to attend a meeting behind closed doors, rather than face an open committee hearing.

The EU and British parliaments have been calling for Zuckerberg to submit to an on-air grilling since it emerged earlier this year that a company, political consultants Cambridge Analytica, had been allowed to misuse the data of millions of Facebook users.

However, there are some Parliamentary members who are unhappy that the meeting will be behind closed doors. "It must be a public hearing - why not a Facebook Live?" influential Belgian MEP Guy Verhofstadt wrote on Twitter. "It is a step in the right direction towards restoring confidence".

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

Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie told Congress on Wednesday that the firm used by President TrumpDonald John TrumpGiuliani says Federal Bureau of Investigation may have placed spy in Trump campaign Giuliani: There is "nothing illegal about looking for dirt on political opponents" Giuliani: If Mueller subpoenas us, we will challenge it MORE's campaign in 2016 engaged in "voter disengagement" tactics targeting black Americans.

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