Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has agreed to meet with top MEPs in Brussels over the company's data scandal.
Despite MEPs’ calls last month for Mr Zuckerberg to testify before a public, joint session of four Parliament committees, Mr Zuckerberg will instead meet privately with a group of the house’s leaders.
Parliament President Antonio Tajani will attend the meeting, along with the leaders of its political groups, Claude Moraes, the British MEP who chairs the powerful Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE), and Jan Philipp Albrecht, the German Green MEP who led the Parliament’s negotiations on the EU’s data protection regulation (GDPR), which will take effect next week (25 May).
In March, it was revealed that Cambridge Analytica had analysed more than 87 million Facebook users’ data for political campaign work without their knowledge. Around 2.7 million of those users are based in the EU.
In Malta, around 6,000 users had their data harvested by the company.
Mr Zuckerberg has apologised for the scandal and rushed to announce changes to Facebook’s privacy settings.
A Facebook spokesperson said, “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.”
In a statement on Wednesday afternoon, Mr Tajani said that the Facebook chief “will be in Brussels as soon as possible, hopefully already next week”.
“Our citizens deserve a full and detailed explanation,” Mr Tajani said. He said the meeting was “a step in the right direction towards restoring confidence”.