BRUSSELS (AFP) – Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg has agreed to live-stream his meeting with European Parliament members as he answers questions in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, a top official said yesterday.
The meeting today with the parliament’s most senior members was initially set to be held behind closed doors.
But influential MEPs had pushed for a public hearing following the worst crisis in Facebook’s history.
“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.
Mr Tajani had invited Mr 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.
Mr 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 6:15 pm to 7:30 pm (1615 GMT to 1730 GMT) today.
Mr Tajani will also hold a private meeting with Mr Zuckerberg the same day, a spokesman for the parliamentary chief told AFP.