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Facebook's Zuckerberg bound for Brussels

18 May 2018, 03:34 | Devin Moran

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

Mark Zuckerberg agrees to meeting with EU officials in Brussels

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is expected to speak with leaders of the European parliament next week about the data protection scandal that has engulfed his company — but might avoid a public testimony like the one he endured in the U.S.

This after revelations that political consultancy Cambridge Analytica improperly accessed details of millions of Facebook users.

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.

But the decision to hold the meeting with the European Parliament behind closed doors has angered others. The social networking company reported $1.69 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts' consensus estimates of $1.25 by $0.44.

The anonymised data of approximately 3 million Facebook users has reportedly been published on a poorly protected website.

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

The closed-door meeting with the Parliament's most senior deputies will anger European lawmakers who were hoping to give Mr Zuckerberg a grilling similar to his 10-hour interrogation in US Congress last month.




The appearance will take place in closed session, behind closed doors, much to the chagrin of Guy Verhofstadt, former Belgian PM and leader of the parliament's liberal faction.

Justice Commissioner Věra Jourová was admonished by Tajani when she said it was a pity the hearing would not be public. "It's a step in the right direction towards restoring confidence".

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

Zuckerberg will also be meeting with French president, Emmanuel Macron on 23 May.

"Given the deep distrust caused by the Cambridge Analytica scandal, this meeting must be public", said Philippe Lamberts and Ska Keller, the heads of the Greens bloc in the European Parliament.

Boss of Cambridge Analytica Alexander Nix has accepted a summons from the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), and will appear in front of its committee on Wednesday 6 June.

"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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