Fresh from his appearance before Congress in which he faced questions about the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg is about to grab his rarely worn suit for a similar grilling in Europe.
The Zuck will meet senior European Union (EU) lawmakers on Tuesday to discuss Facebook’s role in the controversial affair, which involved the harvesting of large amounts of user data by the now-defunct London-based political consulting firm.
The original plan was to hold the meeting behind closed doors, but following calls by a number of European officials to make it public, the Facebook CEO agreed to have his appearance live-streamed. European Commissioner for Justice Věra Jourová, for one, reminded Zuckerberg in a tweet last week that “there are more EU users on FB than there are in the U.S. [and] Europeans deserve to know how their data is handled.”
Following talks with Zuckerberg and his team, Antonio Tajani, President of the European Parliament, confirmed in a tweet that he had discussed the idea of live-streaming the meeting, adding, “I am glad to announce that he has accepted this new request. Great news for EU citizens. I thank him for the respect shown towards EP.”
Tajani said the meeting will take place in Brussels, Belgium, at 6.15 p.m. local time (12.15 p.m. ET, 9.15 a.m. PT) on Tuesday May 22, and is expected to last around 75 minutes.
The stream will be available via this page, with the broadcast link expected to be posted on Tuesday morning, local time.
Zuckerberg has already made two appearances before Congress to answer questions about how Facebook data belonging to as many as 87 million users — around 2.7 million of them based in Europe — came to be harvested by Cambridge Analytica without Facebook’s explicit consent.
The Facebook chief’s appearance comes in the same week that the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) becomes law. This aims to give internet users more power in how their data is used, while forcing companies to follow strict rules on how that data is gathered, stored, and leveraged.
The U.K.’s Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport Committee has also asked Zuckerberg to attend a hearing to answer lawmakers’ questions on the matter, but the social networking giant says the CEO currently has “no plans to meet with the committee or travel to the U.K. at the present time.”