Mark Zuckerberg finally agrees to live-stream EU parliament hearing on Facebook’s data sharing after outrage it was set to be behind closed doors
- Zuckerberg is set to face a grilling in front of European parliament tomorrow
- It had been unclear whether the hearing would be private or live streamed
- A senior figure announced on Monday that it would be broadcast to millions
- He will face questions over Facebook’s data sharing with Cambridge Analytica
Mark Zuckerberg has agreed to a live-stream grilling at the European parliament tomorrow, as the Facebook boss faces questions over his company’s data sharing policies.
Zuckerberg was summoned to give evidence in front of MEPs in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
But it had been unclear whether Tuesday’s meeting with EU officials would take place behind closed doors or in the public eye.
After suggestions that Zuckerberg could be set to avoid a repeat of the public grilling he faced in front of US congress last month – some of the EU’s most senior members voiced their discontent at the proposal.
A senior figure within parliament announced on Monday, however, that the hearing will be live streamed to an audience of millions.
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Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg has repeatedly apologised for the massive data breach
The Facebook exec faced a similarly gruesome live hearing in front of an enormous audience at US Congress back in April
‘I have personally discussed with Facebook CEO Mr Zuckerberg the possibilty of webstreaming meeting with him,’ the parliament’s leader Antonio Tajani wrote on Twitter.
‘I am glad to announce that he has accepted this new request. Great news for EU citizens,’ he added.
Tajani had invited Zuckerberg, saying the 2.7 million EU citizens affected by the data sharing scandal deserved a full explanation.
The visit comes as the EU is introducing tough new data protection rules later this month, which Facebook has said it will comply with.
Facebook admitted earlier this month that up to 87 million users may have had their data hijacked by British consultancy Cambridge Analytica, which worked for US President Donald Trump during his 2016 campaign.
The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which comes into effect on May 25, aims to give users more control over how their personal information is stored and used online, with big fines for firms that break the rules.
Facebook is facing questions over its data sharing policy in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal
Facebook admitted earlier this month that up to 87 million users may have had their data hacked by the British firm
Zuckerberg, who has repeatedly apologised for the massive data breach, told the US Congress in April that the more stringent EU rules could serve as a rough model globally.
The European Parliament hearing will run from 4:15 pm to 5:30 pm on Tuesday.
Tajani will also hold a private meeting with Zuckerberg the same day, a spokesman for the parliamentary chief told AFP.
The suggested closed-door meeting with the parliament’s most senior deputies had angered European lawmakers who will now be able to give Zuckerberg a grilling similar to his 10-hour interrogation in US Congress last month.
‘I will not attend the meeting with Mr Zuckerberg if it’s held behind closed doors. It must be a public hearing – why not a Facebook Live?’ influential Belgian MEP Guy Verhofstadt had written on Twitter.
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