Zuckerberg to meet European Parliament leaders in private session

Zuckerberg to appear before EU parliament to explain Facebook’s use of data

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.

After weeks of back-and-forth between the European Parliament and Facebook executives, CEO Mark Zuckerberg agreed on Wednesday (16 May) to meet with political leaders in Brussels over the company's recent data breach scandal.

That suggests he will avoid an uncomfortable public appearance and instead meet only with the legislature's top brass behind closed doors. Zuckerberg testified before the House of Representatives and the Senate in April.

"Parliament's priority is to ensure the proper functioning of the digital market, with a high level of protection for personal data, effective rules on copyright and the protection of consumer rights", the statement from the European parliament president said.

Zuckerberg's visit comes with a strict new European data protection law due to take effect on May 25.

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It certainly appears the Cambridge Analytica scandal was just the beginning of a great reckoning for Facebook and its apps, with hundreds of apps found to possibly misusing data before the investigation is even complete. "It must be a public hearing - why not a Facebook Live", he asked in a Tweet. "Our citizens deserve a full and detailed explanation".

Mr Zuckerberg is likely meet European Union politicians in the same week as he attends a summit in France with President Emmanuel Macron.

The world's largest social network has come under scrutiny over the way it handles personal data after revelations that British consultancy Cambridge Analytica, which worked on Donald Trump's 2016 presidential election campaign, improperly accessed the Facebook data of 87 million users.

Facebook said Monday that it has suspended "around 200" applications from its platform "pending a thorough investigation into whether they did in fact misuse any data".

The lawmakers were not satisfied with Schroepfer's answers, and called on Zuckerberg to testify. 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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