Zuckerberg agrees to European parliament meeting

The offices of Cambridge Analytica

Facebook faces a barrage of public criticism over how the data of tens of millions of its users was abused, and concerns over whether it has moved rapidly enough to remove questionable content.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has agreed to meet European Union parliamentarians in Brussels to give evidence about the company's use of personal data. The meeting will happen on May 22 late afternoon, and be held in private, the assembly's press service said.

Tajani said: "Our citizens deserve a full and detailed explanation".

"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. "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. The European Commission, the EU's executive agency, has used the scandal as an example of why its strict new privacy rules kicking in at the end of next week are justified.

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

Alexander Nix
Cambridge Analytica suspended chief executive Alexander Nix in March

"Pity this will not be a public hearing". Many in the European Parliament had been calling for a public hearing.

The parliament will separately organize a hearing with Facebook representatives to examine data protection that will also look at the potential impact on the election process.

"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".

But he will not appear before the British parliamentary committee investigating the matter, but rather has agreed to appear before the European parliament at a closed-door meeting.

A DCMS committee spokesperson confirmed no formal summons has been issued to Zuckerberg to date, although Vote Leave campaign director Dominic Cummings, and former Cambridge Analytica CEO Alexander Nix - both embroiled in the burgeoning scandal over the alleged misuse of data in political campaigns - were subject to formal summons.

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