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Mark Zuckerberg resisting British lawmakers' call to testify despite summons threat

17 May 2018

It was confirmed by president of the European parliament Antonio Tajani who declared web giants should be held responsible for "blatantly false news and illegal content".

"We have accepted the Council of President's proposal to meet with leaders of the European Parliament and appreciate the opportunity for dialogue, to listen to their views and show the steps we are taking to better protect people's privacy", a spokesman for Facebook said in Washington.

The investigation is making good on Mark Zuckerberg's March promise to find other apps like Cambridge Analytica-i.e., ones that collected data not just from Facebook users who signed up for the apps, but also all of their friends.

"Our citizens deserve a full and detailed explanation", Tajani said.

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Some MEPs will likely be upset by the behind-closed-doors arrangement. The president also plans to speak with Zuckerberg more generally about the regulation of online platforms.

"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.

While Zuckerberg testified last month to the U.S. Congress, he had always been noncommittal on his appearance in Europe, sending his chief technical officer to speak to the British parliament and delaying confirmation of any visit to Brussels.

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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Facebook has come under vast scrutiny over how it protects personal data after Cambridge Analytica, a Donald Trump campaign-linked political consultancy, gained improper access to the personal information of up to 87 million people.

Personal data from around 2.7 million Facebook users in the EU was shared with analytics firm Cambridge Analytica, the European Commission announced on Friday (6 April).

Facebook is in the middle of a massive app investigation and audit of its own, and recently announced that it has reviewed thousands of apps so far, and has suspended 200 of those apps for possible data misuse. myPersonality was reportedly suspended last month.

Facebook came away largely unscathed from Zuckerberg's testimony to the U.S. Congress in April.

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Mark Zuckerberg resisting British lawmakers' call to testify despite summons threat