Mark Zuckerberg could be grilled by European Parliament as early as next week
The Facebook founder accepted the request hours after rejecting the UK parliament's own invitation.
Mark Zuckerberg has agreed to meet with European Parliament representatives to clarify issues relating to the misuse of personal data and to discuss Facebook's role in the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
The announcement was made by Antonio Tajani, President of the European Parliament, who said on Twitter that the Facebook founder and CEO would appear in Brussels "as soon as possible" to meet with party leaders and the Chair and Rapporteur of the Committee for Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE). The meeting, however, will be private according to The Guardian.
While Tajani could not confirm a date, in a statement he said the meeting could happen "hopefully already next week".
"Our citizens deserve a full and detailed explanation," he said.
"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."
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO and founder, has accepted our invitation. He will come to the European Parliament. My full statement ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/FdmuDPl8Wb
— Antonio Tajani (@EP_President) May 16, 2018
Tajani went on to say that the Conference of Presidents would organise a hearing with Facebook which would enable the LIBE committee and relevant committees a chance to gather an in-depth understanding of personal data protection, with particular emphasis on its impact on the European electoral process.
"Parliament's priority is to ensure the proper functioning of the digital market, with a high level of protection for personal data, effective rules on copyright and the protection of consumer rights," he added.
"Web giants must be responsible for the content they publish, including blatantly false news and illegal content.
"Freedom must always be accompanied by responsibility."
Zuckerberg's agreement comes after he declined to appear before a UK parliamentary committee for the second time on 15 May.
Having turned down the UK's initial invitation in March, sending CTO Mike Schroepfer to attend in his place, the UK's Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee sent a follow up to Zuckerberg to appear himself.
In response, the social network's Head of Public Policy Rebecca Stimson said Schroepfer's visit, coupled with his appearance before the Senate Judiciary and Commerce Committee in Washington was sufficient.
"We were disappointed after providing a very significant amount of information to the committee at the last hearing the committee declared our response insufficient."