Nearly six weeks after he testified before Congress during two back-to-back marathon sessions, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will appear before the European Parliament Tuesday to answer questions about the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
The session will begin at 12:15 pm ET (or 6:15 pm local time).
Zuckerberg traveled to Brussels for the occasion, where he is expected to echo many of the same points he delivered last month during his appearance before US lawmakers.
Though Zuck’s testimony arrives at a less-than-opportune time. Less than a week ago, whistleblower Christopher Wylie told a Senate Panel that Russian operatives might have the personal data of millions of Facebook users.
(Photo of Mark Zuckerberg, courtesy of USAToday).
Antonio Tajani, president of European Parliament, announced on Twitter that Zuckerberg would allow the session to be livestreamed.
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
— Antonio Tajani (@EP_President) May 21, 2018
The talk can be watched below:
Here’s Zuckerberg’s opening statement, courtesy of Business Insider (emphasis ours):
“Europeans make up a large and incredibly important part of our global community. Many of the values Europeans care most deeply about are values we share: from the importance of human rights and the need for community to a love of technology, with all the potential it brings.
“In order to realize that potential, we need to make technology a force for good. As Facebook has grown, we’ve helped give people everywhere a powerful new tool to stay connected with the people they care about. After the recent terrorist attacks in Berlin, Paris, London and here in Brussels, tens of thousands of people have used Safety Check to let their friends and family know they’re safe. Refugees arriving in Europe are using Facebook to stay in touch with their loved ones back home and find new communities here. There are 18 million small businesses in Europe that use Facebook today, mostly for free — almost half of whom say they have hired more people as a result.
“But it’s also become clear over the last couple of years that we haven’t done enough to prevent the tools we’ve built from being used for harm as well. Whether it’s fake news, foreign interference in elections or developers misusing people’s information, we didn’t take a broad enough view of our responsibilities. That was a mistake, and I’m sorry.
“It will take time to work through all of the changes we must make. But I’m committed to getting it right — and to making the significant investments needed to keep people safe. For example, we’re doubling the number of people working on safety and security to more than 20,000 people by the end of this year. On top of the investments we’re making in other areas, I expect this will significantly impact our profitability. But I want to be clear: keeping people safe will always be more important than maximizing our profits.
“We’re committed to Europe. Ireland is home to our European Headquarters. London is home to our biggest engineering team outside the United States; Paris is home to our artificial intelligence research lab; and we have data centers in Sweden, Ireland and Denmark, which will open in 2020. By the end of 2018, Facebook will employ 10,000 people across 12 European cities — up from 7,000 today. And we will continue to invest. For example, we’ve committed to providing one million people and small businesses with digital skills training by 2020.
“My top priority has always been our social mission of connecting people, helping them to build communities and bringing the world closer together.
“I believe deeply in what we’re doing. And when we address these challenges, I know we’ll look back and view helping people connect and giving more people a voice as a positive force here in Europe and around the world.
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