Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has reportedly agreed to meet with leaders from the European Parliament to answer questions about the improper use of millions of users’ data by a political consultancy Cambridge Analytica.
The social networking firm has come under fire over the way it handles personal data after revelations that British consultancy Cambridge Analytica, which worked on Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential election campaign, improperly accessed the Facebook data of 87 million users.
In a statement on Wednesday, Antonio Tajani, president of the European Parliament, said, “The founder and CEO of Facebook has accepted our invitation and will be in Brussels as soon as possible, hopefully already next week.”
Zuckerberg will meet party leaders and members of the civil liberties committee.
“I welcome Mark Zuckerberg’s decision to appear in person before the representatives of 500 million Europeans. It is a step in the right direction towards restoring confidence,” Tajani said.
A hearing will also be organized with Facebook and other parties concerned, Tajani said, to carry out an “in-depth analysis of aspects related to personal data protection” and potential impacts on electoral processes in Europe.
A spokesman for Facebook said in Washington, said, “We have accepted the Council of President’s proposal to meet with leaders of the European Parliament and appreciate the opportunity for dialogue, to listen to their views and show the steps we are taking to better protect people’s privacy.
The British parliament also requested that Zuckerberg answer questions from lawmakers but the firm’s chief technology officer attended that hearing instead.
Separately, the parliament will organise a series of committee hearings with Facebook and other tech companies. Zuckerberg is not expected to attend those, a European Parliament spokesperson said.