Members of European Parliament (MEPs), meeting in plenary session in Strasbourg, joined their President on Wednesday in calling for the CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, to appear at the European Parliament to answer questions on the scandal over the misuse of personal Facebook user data by Cambridge Analytica.
The most widely-used social network in the world, with 2 billion users, has been accused of having allowed the company Cambridge Analytica to exploit the personal data of over 50 million users without their authorization, in order to target them during the campaign for the 2016 American presidential election and the Brexit campaign.
The European Parliament was alarmed by the impact of social networks, fake news and the manipulation of democratic processes as the next European legislative elections loom on the horizon in May 2019.
The General data protection regulation (GDPR) gave the European Parliament reason to be reassured, with its application starting from May 25. The GDPR will contribute to giving European citizens more control over their personal data and will set global norms, said MEPs.
Certain representatives, however, doubt that the mechanisms of the GDPR will prevent new scandals and invited the European Council to put in place the regulation on privacy and electronic communications.
EU: ZUCKERBERG SHOULD COME IN PERSON
European Parliament President Antonio Tajani requested that Mark Zuckerberg come personally to explain himself to the plenary session on the use of the personal data of the millions of users put at risk.
"All of the political groups insist on the absolute necessity for your personal presence, as was the case before the United States Congress," he wrote in a letter addressed to the young American billionaire.
Since March 20 and the explosion of the scandal around Cambridge Analytica, the company which exploited by their own prerogative the data of tens of millions of Facebook users, the President of the European Parliament has invited the Facebook CEO to come as quickly as possible to address the representatives of the 500 million EU citizens.
Mark Zuckerberg, who gave testimony for 10 hours in a hearing with American legislators last week, proposed the Vice President Global Public Policy, Joel Kaplan, speak to MEPs.
European Commission Vice President Andrus Ansip met with Mark Zuckerberg in California on Tuesday and told him that "the invitation from the European Parliament was a manner to restore confidence" with European officials, reported on Wednesday the European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality Vera Jourova to MEPs in Strasbourg.
The CEO of Facebook is in trouble. The economic model of his social network has received strong criticism while the frustration of users has increased with new revelations.
"Our privacy is not for sale," declared the Green party MEP and former French Presidential candidate Eva Joly Wednesday, in Strasbourg, acting as a spokesperson for a growing sentiment among European and American citizens.
The deletefacebook movement has also been launched in the wake of the first revelations.
In total, some 87 million Facebook users, including 2.7 million in the EU, could have been victims of the data breach involving Cambridge Analytica, according to reports.