Facebook's Zuckerberg to appear at European Parliament -speaker

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

EURACTIV understands that Zuckerberg will not meet with any other European Union officials or legislators while he is in Brussels.

The statement said Zuckerberg would be in Brussels "as soon as possible, hopefully already next week" to face political leaders and civil liberties committee members. "Our citizens deserve a full and detailed explanation". The exact date of the meeting will be confirmed on Thursday (22 May), Corazza said.

That suggests he will avoid an uncomfortable public appearance and instead meet only with the legislature's top brass behind closed doors.

The UK parliament has also invited the Facebook CEO to answer questions. They also asked about political ads, general privacy practices, fake accounts and more.

The European Parliament does not have the legal power to summon anyone to attend a hearing. The hearing would be an opportunity to "carry out an in-depth analysis of aspects related to personal data protection". That will be before the LIBE Committee and "other relevant committees".

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"Parliament's priority is to ensure the proper functioning of the digital market, with a high level of protection for personal data, effective rules on copyright and the protection of consumer rights", the statement from the European parliament president said.

Last month, Tajani sent a letter to Zuckberberg demanding he appear before MEPs from the LIBE Committee, and the Legal Affairs (JURI), Constitutional Affairs (AFCO) and Industry (ITRE) Committees.

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Mr Zuckerberg's appearance before European Union politicians comes just ahead of the bloc's new data protection laws, which Facebook has said it will only implement within its jurisdiction - standing in contrast to Apple (NasdaqGS: AAPL - news), which has said it will apply the same privacy standards worldwide. But Facebook's head of public policy, Rebecca Stimson, wrote them Tuesday, saying that Zuckerberg "has no plans to meet with the committee or travel to the United Kingdom at the present time". The Facebook CEO has not responded to the summons.

Although the scandal-hit Cambridge Analytica has since collapsed, regulators say they are continuing their investigation into the how the company harvested data from millions of Facebook users.