Get ready to rumble. On Tuesday, Mark Zuckerberg will participate in another government hearing, this time with European officials. And the head of the EU parliament just announced that the meeting will be livestreamed.
Zuckerberg will meet with Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) from 6:15 p.m. to 7:30 p.m Brussels time (12:15 – 1:30 p.m ET). They will reportedly discuss the impact of the Cambridge Analytica scandal on the E.U., which affected 2.7 million European citizens.
Previously, MEPs planned to meet with Zuckerberg in a private session. But the President of the EU announced a change of plans on his Twitter.
”I have personally discussed with Facebook CEO Mr Zuckerberg the possibilty of webstreaming meeting with him. 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”
In addition to data privacy breaches by third party apps, Zuckerberg and the MEPs will likely discuss Facebook compliance with GDPR, the EU’s new sweeping regulations put in place to protect its citizens online privacy. The deadline for GDPR compliance is this Friday, May 25. Companies will face a fine if they do not comply.
Facebook and Cambridge Analytica’s role in influencing the Brexit vote may also be on the table. Facebook recently suspended the company AggregateIQ, a Canadian data firm that it learned worked with Cambridge Analytica, and received a significant portion of the taxpayer-funded Vote Leave campaign.
Zuckerberg’s government hearings have been notable for all the questions he hasn’t been able to answer. He may face another round of tough questioning particularly on “shadow profiles” and behavior tracking outside of Facebook — practices that don’t jive with Facebook’s insistence that individuals totally control the data that Facebook collects on them. (And that Facebook has taken steps to address since the US congressional hearing).
But Zuckerberg has also stuck closely on-message about Facebook’s desire to do good in the world and promises to do better. Whether the EU hearing is revelatory will largely depend on how well-versed the MEPs are in Facebook’s data collection practices, and how strongly they insist on specific answers, rather than assurances to do better, to their questions.
You can watch the stream of the meeting on the EU parliament’s website.