Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg summoned to testify in front of EU lawmakers — again

Key Points
  • Facebook should testify in front of European lawmakers in person, European Commissioner Vera Jourova, told CNBC.
  • Jourova said that if Zuckerberg comes to Europe, it would show that he understands consumers in the region who are "very sensitive to their privacy."
  • The comments come following revelations that 87 million users were affected by the Cambridge Analytica data leak.
Facebook's Sandberg, EU's Jourova have talks on data protection
Facebook's Sandberg, EU's Jourova have talks on data protection

Facebook CEO should testify in person in front of European lawmakers to show that he understands the sensitivities of privacy in the region, a top European Union official told CNBC Friday.

Vera Jourova, the European commissioner for justice, consumers and gender equality, renewed calls for Zuckerberg to appear in Europe, following his two-day questioning in front of lawmakers in Congress.

"I expect that Mr Zuckerberg will take this invitation because I believe that face-to-face communication and being available for such communication will be a good sign that Mr Zuckerberg understands the European market ... is serving to people who are very, very sensitive to their privacy," Jourova told CNBC in a TV interview.

"I think it would be a good thing to do to come to Europe."

Facebook co-founder, Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before a combined Senate Judiciary and Commerce committee hearing in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill April 10, 2018 in Washington, DC.
Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images

The comments come following revelations that 87 million users were affected by the recent data leak. A quiz app harvested Facebook profiles for data before sending it over to political consultancy Cambridge Analytica. Cambridge Analytica managed to obtain data on 2.7 million Europeans, which is why it is such a huge issue in the region.

Facebook and Cambridge Analytica are facing investigations from a number of data protection watchdogs across the EU.

Zuckerberg has already been asked to travel to Europe to testify by Antonio Tajani, the president of the European Parliament. He has continued pressing the Facebook CEO.


Facebook was not immediately available for comment when contacted by CNBC.

Individual countries in Europe have also requested the presence of Zuckerberg including the U.K. Facebook said it would not send its leader, but instead send one of his deputies.

The EU is trying to clamp down on rogue data practices and on Thursday announced a social media working group to investigate other firms that may have misused user data.

A major new piece of legislation known as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is also set to come into force on May 25 in the EU, and it will impose stricter data protection rules on companies such as Facebook and Google.