Facebook’s Zuckerberg, EU Lawmakers to Discuss Data Privacy

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is slated to meet privately in Brussels as soon as next week with key European lawmakers about the data protection controversy that has affected his company.

EU Parliament President Antonio Tajani confirmed the meeting Wednesday.

It will be Zuckerberg’s first visit with EU representatives since a whistle-blower alleged that British political consulting company Cambridge Analytica improperly collected information from millions of Facebook accounts to help Donald Trump win the 2016 presidential election in the United States. The collection affected about 87 million users and prompted apologies from Zuckerberg.

Facebook was largely unscathed by Zuckerberg’s 10 hours of testimony before U.S. legislators in April. The social media giant’s share price increased after his testimony, and some lawmakers apparently failed to grasp the technical details of the company’s operation and data privacy policies. 

Zuckerberg’s pending appearance in Brussels comes as new European data protection laws are set to take effect May 25.

Some critics say Zuckerberg’s meeting with the lawmakers should be public.

Guy Verhofstadt, president of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, a liberal-centrist political group of the European Parliament, said he would not attend the meeting if it were held behind closed doors.

“It must be a public hearing,” he said. “Why not a Facebook Live?” he asked on Twitter.

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