Cambridge Analytica's suspended head to appear before UK committee
May 18 2018 by Joanne Wise
And according to an European Union parliament source, around half the groups wanted an open hearing with the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs - with only a small majority of the Conference of Presidents agreeing to a closed meeting.
The world's largest social network has come under scrutiny over the way it handles personal data after revelations that British consultancy Cambridge Analytica improperly accessed the Facebook data of 87 million users.
European Parliament President Antonio Tajani on Wednesday said Zuckerberg had accepted the EU institution's invitation to travel across the Atlantic and face lawmakers in person as soon as next week.
Meanwhile, following reports of the scheduled closed-door meeting, a Facebook spokesman reiterated the company's prior statement issued when it had declined the DCMS committee's request.
A spokesperson for Facebook told the Guardian newspaper that the company had accepted the "proposal to meet with leaders of the European parliament and appreciate [s] the opportunity for dialogue, to listen to their views and show the steps we are taking to better protect people's privacy".
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.
Tajani added that Zuckerberg said he will come to Brussels to testify "as soon as possible", potentially within a week.
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. "It must be a public hearing - why not a Facebook Live?" influential Belgian MEP Guy Verhofstadt wrote on Twitter.
Zuckerberg's trip across the pond to visit Europe comes ahead of the implementation of the EU's data protection regulation. "It's a step in the right direction towards restoring confidence".
On 7 April 2018, Facebook suspended the myPersonalty app from the Facebook platform as part of its clean up of third party applications and its investigation into misuse of user data.
"Although Facebook says Mr Zuckerberg has no plans to travel to the United Kingdom, we would also be open to taking his evidence by video link, if that would be the only way to do this during the period of our inquiry", committee chairman, Damian Collins writes in a letter to Facebook.