17 May 2018Hot off the Press
Image credit: Associated Press
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has agreed to meet with European parliamentarians at a closed-door meeting, which Parliamentary President Antonio Tajani has said could take place as early as next week.
Mr Zuckerberg’s decision to meet with European Parliament will be viewed as a snub to the UK Parliament, after he has previously refused three times to appear before a British parliamentary committee that is investigating ‘fake news’, as well as the Cambridge Analytica scandal, where personal data of millions of people were harvested without their knowledge.
The CEO has faced harsh criticism for his continual denials in the past, and it is predicted that this will only increase as Mr Zuckerberg is also expected to meet with French President Emmanuel Macron next Wednesday.
Mr Tajani said, “The founder and CEO of Facebook has accepted our invitation and will be in Brussels as soon as possible, hopefully already next week.”
In a statement on Twitter, Mr Tajani said:
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO and founder, has accepted our invitation. He will come to the European Parliament. My full statement ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/FdmuDPl8Wb
— Antonio Tajani (@EP_President) May 16, 2018
“Our citizens deserve a full and detailed explanation. I welcome Mark Zuckerberg’s decision to appear in person before the representatives of 500 million Europeans,” he said.
Mr Zuckerberg’s trip comes ahead of the EU’s data protection policy, which will be implemented on May 23. The policy is a landmark law that will allow any individual in Europe to ask a company for data held about them.
When Mr Zuckerberg arrives in Brussels for the hearing, he will not face the scrutiny of cameras as he did in last month’s US congress hearing, but will be answering questions by political group leaders and the chair of the parliament’s justice and home affairs committee behind closed doors.