Mark Zuckerberg likely won't testify before Parliament, say UK officials

  • Members of Parliament had previously said they would summon the Facebook CEO to testify on the Cambridge Analytica data leak the next time he arrived in the country.
  • Facebook officials have now responded that Zuckerberg has no plans to do so.
  • The CEO and social media company are facing regulatory probes following reports that British research firm Cambridge Analytica improperly accessed the personal information of as many as 87 millions Facebook users.
Mark Zuckerberg testifies before the House Energy and Commerce Committee in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill April 11, 2018.
Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images
Mark Zuckerberg testifies before the House Energy and Commerce Committee in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill April 11, 2018.

Mark Zuckerberg likely won't testify before Parliament, according to UK officials.

Members of Parliament had previously said they would summon the Facebook CEO to testify on the Cambridge Analytica data leak the next time he arrived in the country — but Facebook officials have now responded that Zuckerberg has no plans to do so.

"It is disappointing that a company with the resources of Facebook chooses not to provide a sufficient level of detail and transparency on various points," Parliamentary member Damian Collins said in a statement issued Tuesday.

Zuckerberg spent ten grueling hours before the U.S. Congress last month, but has declined multiple invitations to answer questions before UK lawmakers. The CEO and social media company are facing regulatory probes following reports that British research firm Cambridge Analytica improperly accessed the personal information of as many as 87 millions Facebook users.

"If Mark Zuckerberg truly recognises the 'seriousness' of these issues as they say they do, we would expect that he would want to appear in front of the Committee and answer questions that are of concern not only to Parliament, but Facebook's tens of millions of users in this country," Collins said.

A Facebook spokesperson confirmed to CNBC that Zuckerberg "has no plans" to meet with UK officials but said, "We fully recognize the seriousness of these issues and remain committed to providing any additional information required for their enquiry into fake news."

Here's the full statement from Collins:

"It is disappointing that a company with the resources of Facebook chooses not to provide a sufficient level of detail and transparency on various points including on Cambridge Analytica, dark ads, Facebook Connect, the amount spent by Russia on UK ads on the platform, data collection across the web, budgets for investigations, and that shows general discrepancies between Schroepfer and Zuckerberg's respective testimonies. Given that these were follow up questions to questions Mr Schroepfer previously failed to answer, we expected both detail and data, and in a number of cases got excuses.

"If Mark Zuckerberg truly recognises the 'seriousness' of these issues as they say they do, we would expect that he would want to appear in front of the Committee and answer questions that are of concern not only to Parliament, but Facebook's tens of millions of users in this country. Although Facebook says Mr Zuckerberg has no plans to travel to the UK, we would also be open to taking his evidence by video link, if that would be the only way to do this during the period of our inquiry.

"For too long these companies have gone unchallenged in their business practices, and only under public pressure from this Committee and others have they begun to fully cooperate with our requests. We plan to write to Facebook in the coming days with further follow up questions."