Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg has agreed to meet European Parliament members behind closed-doors to answer questions in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, a top official said today. Zuckerberg will meet privately with members of the European Parliament's Committee for Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, as well as party leaders.
"The founder and CEO of Facebook has accepted our invitation and will be in Brussels as soon as possible, hopefully already next week", Antonio Tajani, President of the European Parliament, said in a statement.
More than a million of these victims are believed to be in the United Kingdom, but Mr Zuckerberg has so far refused to appear before British MPs, in a move they describe as absolutely astonishing.
In a statement Facebook said it welcomed the chance to meet MEPs and "appreciate the opportunity for dialogue, to listen to their views and show the steps we are taking to better protect people's privacy".
Separately, the parliament will organize a series of committee hearings with Facebook and other tech companies.
The world's largest social network has come under scrutiny over the way it handles personal data after revelations that British consultancy Cambridge Analytica, which worked on Donald Trump's 2016 presidential election campaign, improperly accessed the Facebook data of 87 million users.
The closed-door meeting with the parliament's most senior deputies will anger European lawmakers who were hoping to give Zuckerberg a grilling similar to his 10-hour interrogation in US Congress last month.
Zuckerberg first explained what went wrong with the company's privacy terms during a joint Committee meeting of the US Senate in April.
Mr Zuckerberg's appearance before European Union politicians comes just ahead of the bloc's new data protection laws, which Facebook has said it will only implement within its jurisdiction - standing in contrast to Apple, which has said it will apply the same privacy standards worldwide.
Rebecca Stimson, Facebook U.K.'s head of public policy, sent the committee responses to each question Monday, but wrote that Zuckerberg "has no plans to meet with the committee or travel to the U.K.at the present time".