Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony in the European Parliment will be live-streamed after opposition to a closed-door meeting. A number of petitions and criticism from privacy campaigners influenced the majority of MEPs to open the proceedings to the public.
EU parliamentary president Antonio Tajani announced the news today, revealing Zuckerberg has agreed to the request.
“I have personally discussed with Facebook CEO Mr Zuckerberg the possibility of web streaming meeting with him,” he said on Twitter. “I am glad to announce that he has accepted this new request. Great news for EU citizens. I thank him for the respect shown towards EP. Meeting tomorrow from 18:15 to 19:30.”
The meeting will hold members from a large variety of political perspectives. Tajani will be joined by British Labour MEP Claude Moraes, as well as center-left socialists, liberals, Green party, the right, and the far-right. It should lead to an interesting debate with differing opinions.
Many are also hoping MEPs will take a harder stance on Zuckerberg than congress. The testimony was largely smooth sailing for the CEO, with senators failing to ask follow up questions and appearing to have limited techincal knowledge.
British Testimony Still Unknown
The meeting will be broadcast on the EU parliment’s website, and it’s not yet clear if it will be available on YouTube or Twitch. However, Zuckerberg is yet to testify in front of British parliament, despite several summons.
The Facebook founder has instead sent employees in his place or declined. As the UK can’t extradite him, it’s instead threatened to force him to testify if he ever steps foot in the country.
It’s unclear if Zuckerberg will set foot in the UK during his European tour, but he’s likely to face tough questions either way. Privacy advocates are hoping for answers about the company’s cross-site tracking and profiles on non-users.
However, the bigger focus will be on the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which exposed 87 million user’s data for use in political campaigns. While Zuckerberg has spoken to the public data gathered by the ‘This is Your Digital Life’ app, he’s yet to be questioned thoroughly in other areas. One example is the gathering of private messages from user’s friends, even if they hadn’t given permission to the app.
The stream will kick off tomorrow at 12:15pm ET and 9:15 am PT. It’s schedule will appear on the EPTV site soon.