LONDON (Reuters) – MPs want their European counterparts to quiz Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg about a scandal over improper use of millions of Facebook users’ data, as he will not give evidence in London himself.
Zuckerberg will be in Europe to defend the company after alleged misuse of its data by Cambridge Analytica, a British political consultancy that worked on U.S. President Donald Trump’s election campaign.
But while he will answer questions from lawmakers in Brussels on Tuesday, and is meeting French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday, he has so far declined to answer questions from British lawmakers, either in person or via video link.
Damian Collins, chair of the British parliament’s media committee, said on Tuesday that he believed Zuckerberg should still appear before British lawmakers.
“But if Mark Zuckerberg chooses not to address our questions directly, we are asking colleagues at the European Parliament to help us get answers – particularly on who knew what at the company, and when, about the data breach and the non-transparent use of political adverts which continue to undermine our democracy,” he said in a statement.
Last month, Facebook Chief Technical Officer Mike Schroepfer appeared before Collins’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, which is investigating fake news.
But the MPs have said his testimony and subsequent written answers from the firm to follow-up questions have been inadequate.
Collins outlined deficiencies in Facebook’s answers so far in a letter to Rebecca Stimson, head of public policy at Facebook UK, which has been shared with the EU lawmakers who will quiz Zuckerberg. Collins requested a response from Facebook to his questions by June 4.
(Reporting by Alistair Smout; Editing by Kevin Liffey)