The S&D Group today called for an urgent plenary debate next week in Strasbourg on the misuse of millions of Facebook users’ data. The Group is also calling for Mark Zuckerberg to come before the European Parliament’s civil liberties, justice and home affairs committee and explain exactly what took place and how EU citizens have been affected.

S&D Group leader Udo Bullmann said:

“The allegation that data from millions of Facebook users was harvested without their permission is staggering. It is even more shocking that this data was used for political purposes under the pretext of academic research. Across Europe hundreds of millions of people use Facebook, and it is essential that they understand how their data has been, and is being, used. We are calling for a debate to be added to the plenary session next week, so the Parliament can urgently discuss this matter. We also need to have a special hearing in the civil liberties, justice and home affairs committee, with all relevant experts present. As he did with the US Senate yesterday, Mark Zuckerberg must come to this and explain what exactly occurred, how EU users have been affected, and what is being done to ensure it never happens again.”

S&D Group Spokesperson for civil liberties, justice and home affairs, Birgit Sippel said:

“The allegations against Facebook are mounting every day. We need a comprehensive hearing in the civil liberties, justice and home affairs committee to get to the bottom of exactly what occurred. In the European Parliament, the S&D Group has been fighting for years to protect citizens online. From the new data protection laws that will come into force next month to the update of the e-privacy directive, we fought hard for the interests of citizens and against those of the big tech companies. It is laughable to now see the faux outrage from the EPP Group on this scandal. Their words say one thing, but their voting record says something completely different. On every major piece of legislation in recent years, they have toed the line of lobbyists from the internet giants and against the interests of citizens. We hope they have finally now seen the light on the importance of data protection and online privacy and will start voting accordingly.”