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Mark Zuckerberg Turns Down Request From UK Parliament to Address Data Scandal
When a whistleblower revealed that about 50 million Facebook users had their data compromised by voter-profiling company Cambridge Analytica – which worked with both Donald Trump’s election campaign team and the successful Brexit campaign – politicians on both sides of the Atlantic have been interested in having CEO Mark Zuckerberg testify to as what exactly the hell happened.
Zuckerberg, however, does not seem interested in taking his place in the hot seat, having already refused a request to appear before the British parliament to address the data scandal, as Business Insider reports.
Rebecca Simon, Facebook’s head of public policy in the UK, responded to calls from the Conservative politician Damian Collins that Zuckerberg appear before a select committee inquiry into fake news.
She wrote to Collins: “Facebook fully recognises the level of public and Parliamentary interest in these issues and support your belief that these issues must be addressed at the most senior levels of the company by those in an authoritative position to answer your questions. As such, Mr. Zuckerberg has personally asked one of his deputies to make themselves available to give evidence in person to the Committee.”
Instead of Zuck, Facebook wants to send Mike Schroepfer, chief technology officer, and Chris Cox, chief product officer.
Mark Zuckerberg declines request to appear before U.K. parliamentary committee and @DamianCollins. Recommends his Chief Technology Officer and Chief Product Officer instead. Full letter here: pic.twitter.com/Q6EueSHu8a
— Joe Mayes (@Joe_Mayes) March 27, 2018
Collins had asked Zuckerberg to speak before the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee earlier this month, according to Business Insider. He responded to Facebook with a statement:
“Facebook has got many questions to answer that their executives have failed to answer in previous appearances before our Committee. As Mark Zuckerberg’s deputy we hope that Chris Cox has the sufficient authority and operational responsibility to concretely answer these questions.
“Given the seriousness of these issues we still believe that Mark Zuckerberg is the right person to give evidence, and would like him to confirm if he will make himself available to the Committee. He stated in interviews that if he is the right person to appear he will appear. We think he is the right person and look forward to hearing from him.”
Facebook has lost roughly $100 billion in market capital over the last 10 days and is on pace for its worst month since 2012.
Photo: Getty iStock