Facebook’s Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg will appear in front of European Parliament, most probably next week, to address queries related to improper use of millions of Facebook users’ personal information by British political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica.
The social network giant has come under heavy criticism over the way it manages personal information following disclosure that Cambridge Analytica improperly accessed personal data of more than 87 million users and influenced United States presidential election campaign in 2016.
European Parliament’s President Antonio Tajani said on Wednesday that Facebook CEO has accepted his invitation and will visit Brussels, as early as possible, and will meet party heads and civil liberties committee members.
Tajani further said that he appreciates Zuckerberg’s decision to personally appear in front of representatives of about 500 million residents living in Europe. He added that it’s a right step towards rebuilding confidence.
The concerned parties will deeply analyze different aspects of personal data protection and possible effects on electoral processes in Europe.
The European Parliament will hold elections in May 2019.
A Facebook spokesperson said that the company has accepted the Council of President’s offer to meet with European Parliament’s representatives and welcome the opportunity for discussions and show the steps Facebook is taking to better safeguard privacy of its users.
Following data privacy scandal, the U.S. Justice Department and the FBI started investigating Cambridge Analytica, which said a couple of weeks ago that it is closing its operations in the United States after losing virtually all customers and suppliers, as a result of harvesting personal data of Facebook users.
Claims of improper use of that data by Cambridge Analytica has resulted in beginning of several inquiries in the U.S. and U.K that are mostly focused on its financial dealings and how it accessed Facebook users’ data.