Published: Wed, May 23, 2018
Business | By Tara Barton

Mark Zuckerberg apologises to European Parliament for massive data leak

Mark Zuckerberg apologises to European Parliament for massive data leak

She added: "Mr. Zuckerberg dealt with issues raised thematically, lacking engagement with the detail of questions, but has committed to Facebook contacting MEP's who contribute directly to answer the more specific points raised".

European Parliament President Antonio Tajani defended the Facebook chief's responses. A few of them made final attempts to get answers as the hearing was coming to a close.

In this context, Zuckerberg faced similar inquiries from some GOP senators last month on Capitol Hill, particularly about the status of the irreverent, pro-Trump siblings Diamond and Silk.

"That is why I asked Mark Zuckerberg what work he is doing with authorities and third parties to ensure young people and families are educated about online safety, who they can contact and how they can seek help". "It's good to be back in Europe!" he said enthusiastically, beginning his remarks.

He will also apologise for failing "to take a broad enough view" of the company's responsibilities, "whether it's fake news, foreign interference in elections or developers misusing people's information. But I want to be clear: keeping people safe will always be more important than maximizing our profits". Much of the time was taken up with MEPs listing off their questions and concerns, with little time for pushback on Zuckerberg's answers when he was able to deliver them.

"I have no doubt that Mr. Zuckerberg is a genius, but there is a risk his legacy will be that he created a company akin to Frankenstein's monster, which spiraled out of his own control".

"Since the outbreak of Cambridge Analytica, you have massively transferred European data of non-European citizens out from Europe, away from European servers", Verhofstadt said.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg met with members of the European Parliament today (May 22) in what was billed as a "meeting" but ended up being more of an awkward hearing, in which the executive took a public lashing but was also let off the hook from many tough, detailed questions.

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But liberal leader Guy Verhofstadt said Zuckerberg has done enough apologising for his company's mistakes. He denied the company is a monopoly or that it suppresses speech based on political content.

One of those who was not satisfied was MEP Nigel Farage, who had asked if Facebook was a "genuinely neutral political platform". "Is the only way to prevent Facebook from collecting my data to avoid the internet altogether?"

As Zuckerberg moved to wrap up his time, MEPs attempted to keep him talking with direct questions about shadow profiles and advertising opt-outs, which led to a lot of deer-in-the-headlight looks from Zuck. As many as 2.7 million of these users were European residents, according to the European Commission.

"But if you're not a Facebook user, how do you stop that data being transferred?"

"Unfortunately the format was a get out of jail free card and gave Mr Zuckerberg too much room to avoid the hard questions", said Syed Kamall, a British centre-right lawmaker, who attended the meeting in Brussels. Zuckerberg said he expected more apps to be penalised. As time ran out, Zuckerberg agreed to provide written answers to questions he had not responded to during the hearing.

You have to ask yourself how you will be remembered.

The meeting constituted Zuckerberg's sole address to European politicians ahead of the May 25 implementation date for strict new data privacy rules under the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation.

For the better part of the meeting, which was scheduled to last a little over an hour, the politicians lobbed their questions and reflections on technology at Zuckerberg, who, at the end, repeated talking points he's given to United States lawmakers, journalists, and investors over the past several months.

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