UK Parliament Increases Pressure On Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg might not want to visit the UK any time soon. Parliament sent a letter to Facebook's head of public policy, Rebecca Stimson, saying that Zuckerberg will receive a formal summons during his next trip to the country if he doesn't voluntarily testify before May 24.

The UK has been requesting testimony from Zuckerberg regarding the Cambridge Analytica scandal--which highlighted just how easy it was for third-party developers to access user data with relatively no oversight--almost since it was revealed. Zuckerberg has continually declined invitations to speak in front of the House of Commons, opting instead to have other executives field questions from the increasingly frustrated lawmakers. Those executives were, according to Parliament, less than satisfactory with their answers.

Now it seems Parliament has had enough. The chair of the Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport Committee, Damian Collins MP, said in his letter:

[Facebook CTO Mike] Schroepfer failed to answer fully on nearly 40 separate points. This is especially disappointing to the Committee considering that in his testimony to Congress Mark Zuckerberg also failed to give convincing answers to some questions. Mr. Schroepfer agreed that his team would follow up on the questions included below. For clarity, we include a list of the questions below, and attach a transcript of yesterday's session to this letter. We would like the replies by 11 May so that we can factor the answers into planning for the evidence we hope to take from Mr. Zuckerberg a fortnight later. As I said yesterday, there are over 40 million Facebook users in the UK and they deserve to hear accurate answers from the company he created and whether it is able to keep their users' data safe. We look forward to receiving your answers by 11 May. We would like confirmation of Mr. Zuckerberg's attendance by the same date.

The questions included in the letter range from generic ones like "what is the percentage of sites on the internet on which Facebook tracks users?" to specific queries like "how many fake accounts have been identified and removed in Myanmar?" The final question also wonders at the company's decision to move "data responsibility" from its Ireland office to its U.S. headquarters roughly one month before the GDPR kicks in.

Nathaniel Mott
Freelance News & Features Writer

Nathaniel Mott is a freelance news and features writer for Tom's Hardware US, covering breaking news, security, and the silliest aspects of the tech industry.

  • derekullo
    All Your Data Are Belong To Us

    -Mark Zuckerberg
  • shrapnel_indie
    If Zuckerberg DOESN'T show, it says a whole lot about what he knew and knows about it. It screams "I'M GUILTY AS SIN!!!"