Brussels (AFP) – Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg must come to the European Parliament to face questions about the Cambridge Analytica data scandal, the head of the parliament’s leading political group said Monday.
In an interview with AFP, Manfred Weber, leader of the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP) bloc, warned Zuckerberg not to “underestimate” the parliament as Brussels prepares to launch tough new data protection rules.
The bloc’s justice commissioner Vera Jourova is set to hold phone talks this week with Facebook’s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg to discuss the breach, which the social media giant says may have affected up to 2.7 million people in the EU.
The European Parliament invited Zuckerberg to come and answer questions over claims that Cambridge Analytica, the UK data analysis firm hired by US President Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign, harvested and misused data from milllions of users.
Zuckerberg is set for a grilling at the US Congress on Tuesday and Weber insisted he must face the music at the European Parliament as well.
“Zuckerberg must come to the European Parliament,” Weber told AFP, accusing the entrepreneur of being “disrespectful”.
“He must not underestimate the capacity of the European Parliament to do actions against Facebook and against him as CEO of Facebook.”
Tough new EU data protection rules next month, under which companies will need explicit consent to pass customers’ data to third parties and could be fined up to four percent of their global turnover for breaches.