Published: Fri, May 18, 2018
IT&Software | By Alfonso Woods

Zuckerberg Says Yes To EU Parliament Appearance, But No To UK

Zuckerberg Says Yes To EU Parliament Appearance, But No To UK

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.

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.

Christopher Wylie, the former director of research for Cambridge Analytica and its London-based affiliate company SCL Group, said at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday that his company communicated with Russian firms and operatives that could have facilitated access to data from 87 million U.S. Facebook users.

"The founder and CEO of Facebook has accepted our invitation and will be in Brussels as soon as possible, hopefully already next week [sic]", Antonio Tajani, president of the European Parliament said in a statement.

"Our citizens deserve a full and detailed explanation", Tajani added.

His concern and even frustration that the leadership of the EP agreed to hold a meeting behind closed doors, was expressed by a number of parliamentarians.

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", he asked in a Tweet.

Zuckerberg's trip across the pond to visit Europe comes ahead of the implementation of the EU's data protection regulation.

Zuckerberg's European Union visit will be his first since a whistleblower alleged that Cambridge Analytica improperly harvested information from over 50 million Facebook accounts to help Donald Trump win the 2016 presidential election.

In March, UK Conservative lawmaker Damian Collins demanded Zuckerberg provide evidence to the Commons committee pertaining to the Cambridge Analytica scandal, but the billionaire refused, opting to only front the US Congress. "It's a step in the right direction towards restoring confidence".

British lawmakers investigating the use of Facebook users' data in political campaigns say the suspended head of the consultancy Cambridge Analytica has accepted a summons to appear before a committee.

After Schroepfer faced a set of tough questions before on MPs' in place of Zuckerberg last month, Collins threatened to compel the Facebook CEO to appear before the committee, writing to Stimson: "It is worth noting that, while Mr Zuckerberg does not normally come under the jurisdiction of the UK Parliament, he will do so the next time he enters the country".

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