Mark Zuckerberg Agrees To Grilling By European Parliament, But There's A Catch

Meeting with Facebook founder could take place as early as next week


Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has agreed to face questions behind closed doors at the European Parliament, in what will be his second public appearance before lawmakers since his company was engulfed in a major data scandal.

“The Conference of Presidents has agreed that Mark Zuckerberg should come to clarify issues related to the use of personal data in a meeting with representatives of the European Parliament,” EP President Antonio Tajani said. "The founder and CEO of Facebook has accepted our invitation and will be in Brussels as soon as possible, hopefully already next week, to meet the leaders of the political groups and the Chair and the Rapporteur of the Committee for Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs.”

“Our citizens deserve a full and detailed explanation. I welcome Mark Zuckerberg’s decision to appear in person before the representatives of 500 million Europeans. It is a step in the right direction towards restoring confidence.”

Politico reported yesterday that Tajani had floated the idea of having Zuckerberg testify behind closed doors for one hour and 20 minutes. Another public testimony would allow a larger group of MEPs, led by the civil liberties committee, to grill lower-level Facebook executives in public.

Tajani’s move angered the S&D, European Greens, ALDE and GUE political groupings - who insisted that Zuckerberg’s grilling should be public as it was in the US Congress.

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Tim Diacono

Tim Diacono tends to clam up when asked to describe himself. You can contact him on [email protected]