Privacy row: UK MPs pressure Zuckerberg to testify on Facebook data breach

By AFP
Published: May 2, 2018
SHARES
Email
Are investigating use of Facebook data by a British political consultancy
PHOTO: REUTERS

Are investigating use of Facebook data by a British political consultancy PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON: British MPs threatened on Tuesday to issue formal summons to Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg for him to testify over a major privacy row, after he declined to appear.

Zuckerberg was grilled by the US Congress last month but sent one of his executives to answer questions posed by the House of Commons’ culture and media committee.

MPs are investigating the use of Facebook data by a British political consultancy, Cambridge Analytica, as well as the phenomenon of “fake news” and Russia’s involvement in spreading misinformation online.

In a letter to Facebook, Committee Chairman Damian Collins cited unconfirmed reports that Zuckerberg would testify to the European Parliament in May and asked him to come to London during the same trip.

“We would like the session here to take place by May 24,” he wrote. “It is worth noting that, while Zuckerberg does not normally come under the jurisdiction of the UK parliament, he will do so the next time he enters the country.

“We hope that he will respond positively to our request, but if not the committee will resolve to issue a formal summons for him to appear when he is next in the UK.”

Ignoring a formal summons could invite action by the House of Commons, although in the past, the threat has usually been enough to make a witness appear.

Facebook has admitted that up to 87 million users may have had their data hijacked by Cambridge Analytica, which worked for US President Donald Trump during his 2016 campaign.

Collins noted that there are more than 40 million Facebook users in Britain “and they deserve to hear accurate answers” from Zuckerberg.

A spokesman for the European Parliament said last week that an invitation had been sent to Zuckerberg to appear before MEPs “but we still wait for an answer… nothing has been decided yet”.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 2nd, 2018.

Like Business on Facebook, follow @TribuneBiz on Twitter to stay informed and join in the conversation.

Facebook Conversations

Leave Your Reply Below

Your comments may appear in The Express Tribune paper. For this reason we encourage you to provide your city. The Express Tribune does not bear any responsibility for user comments.

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive. For more information, please see our Comments FAQ.

More in Business