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MEPs renewed the call to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to come before the Parliament at a debate on data protection and citizens’ privacy with the Commission and the Council on Wednesday.

MEPs urged Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to come to the European Parliament to answer MEPs’ questions on the misuse of European citizens’ personal data. MEPs further expressed concerns about the effects of social media, fake news and election manipulation on democratic processes.

 

The scandal was seen as a wakeup call to the need to ensure data protection against political and commercial use of personal data. MEPs emphasised that the General Data Protection Regulation that will apply as of 25 May will give citizens control over their personal data and set global standards. However, some MEPs pointed out that the new data protection rules will not prevent future scandals and called on the Council to proceed with the e-privacy regulation.

 

Videos of individual statements made by the first round of speakers (click on name)

 

Monika Panayotova, Deputy Minister, representing the Bulgarian Presidency of the EU Council

Věra Jourová, EU Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality

Esteban González Pons (EPP, ES)

Maria João Rodrigues (S&D, PT)

Helga Stevens (ECR, BE)

Sophia in 't Veld (ALDE, NL)

Ska Keller (Greens/EFA, DE)

Cornelia Ernst (GUE/NGL, DE)

William (The Earl Of) Dartmouth (EFDD, UK)

Jean-Luc Schaffhauser (ENF, FR)

 

Video-recordings of the plenary debate will soon be available on the plenary website here and on EP Live.

 

Background

 

Facebook is accused of allowing Cambridge Analytica to harvest the personal details of more than 50 million users without their permission to target them during the 2016 US presidential election and the Brexit referendum. In total, the Facebook information of up to 87 million users, out of which 2.7 million are in the EU, may have been improperly obtained.

 

Parliament President Antonio Tajani invited Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to the Parliament after the revelations surfaced. Tajani reiterated this invitation to Zuckerberg to appear in front of the Parliament to provide an explanation to the millions of Europeans affected by the scandal, following a meeting of the Conference of Presidents on 12 April.