Facebook founder to meet European Union parliament, but privately

Cambridge Analytica boss Alexander Nix to appear before MPs on 6 June

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 private, closed-door meeting will likely focus on how Facebook handles its users' data.

"Our citizens deserve a full and detailed explanation", Tajani said in a statement posted on Twitter.

"I appreciate that Mark Zuckerberg has chose to present himself in front of the representatives of 500 million Europeans", he said.

Damian Collins, the head of the United Kingdom parliament's media committee, has said he hopes Zuckerberg would take advantage of his trip to Europe next week to visit London and testify there as well.

Zuckerberg did agree to public sessions with USA lawmakers last month, following a major global privacy scandal related to user data and political ad targeting. "The Committee will use the opportunity to address numerous inconsistencies in his previous evidence", Damian Collins, the committee's chairman, said in a statement.

"If Mark Zuckerberg truly recognises the "seriousness" of these issues, as they say they do, we would expect that he would want to appear in front of the Committee and answer questions that are of concern not only to Parliament, but Facebook's tens of millions of users in this country", he said.

Cambridge Analytica boss Alexander Nix to appear before MPs on 6 June

That suggests he will avoid an uncomfortable public appearance and instead meet only with the legislature's top brass behind closed doors.

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

He might get tougher questions in Brussels, where an assertive new European data protection law comes into effect on May 25.

Further, the nod to speaking with European Union lawmakers comes at a time when Zuckerberg has thrice denied requests from United Kingdom lawmakers, to take questions about his platform in a public hearing.

Cambridge Analytica has denied doing paid work on the campaign for Brexit, and says its work on the Trump campaign did not use data at the centre of a Facebook scandal, where the details of around 87 million users were allegedly improperly obtained.

"We hope that he will respond positively to our request, but if not the Committee will resolve to issue a formal summons for him to appear when he is next in the United Kingdom".

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