Mark Zuckerberg agrees to face EU Parliament over Facebook data use

The hearing could take place as early as next week

Mark Zuckerberg agrees to face EU Parliament over Facebook data use

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before a joint hearing of the US Senate Committee on the Judiciary and the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation on April 10th, 2018 | Image: USA TODAY Network/SIPA USA/PA Images

Mark Zuckerberg will appear before the EU Parliament in person to answer questions about Facebook's use of data.

The hearing will "hopefully" take place as early as next week, according to Antonio Tajani, the president of the European Parliament.

Members of the European Parliament are set to question Facebook's chief executive regarding the improper use of 87 million users' data by Cambridge Analytica.

"The founder and CEO of Facebook has accepted our invitation and will be in Brussels as soon as possible, hopefully already next week," said Mr Tajani.

Mr Zuckerberg would meet party leaders and members of the parliament's civil liberties committee as part of his evidence session.

Facebook told the EU that 2.7 million people in the bloc could have been affected by the data-sharing scandal involving Cambridge Analytica.

This included more than 44,000 people in Ireland, who may have had their data improperly shared.

Although the scandal-hit Cambridge Analytica has since collapsed, regulators say they are continuing their investigation into the how the company harvested data from millions of Facebook users.

Senior Facebook executives have previously appeared before the Oireachtas Committee on Communications.

Mr Zuckerberg is likely meet EU politicians in the same week as he attends a summit in France with President Emmanuel Macron.

President Macron's office has declared that he will meet Facebook's chief executive alongside more than a dozen others from leading technology firms at a summit in Paris designed to drive investment.

Mr Macron has also signalled his intention to push for an EU-wide tax on digital turnover and has called for tougher laws to tackle fake news.

"There will be tough discussions," an official in President Macron's office told Reuters, adding that the pair would have a one-to-one meeting allowing the topic to be broached in a "very frank" manner.