Following pressure from the S&D Group, the European Parliament will launch a series of three hearings into the misuse of millions of people’s data by Facebook and Cambridge Analytica. The hearings follow the meeting between Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and the leaders of the political groups in the Parliament. The hearings will be led by the Parliament’s civil liberties, justice and home affairs committee, with the first one taking place on Monday 4 June 2018.
Speaking after the confirmation of the follow up hearings, S&D Group vice-president Josef Weidenholzer, said:
“We have been calling for a full and transparent investigation into the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal since the story first broke two months ago. This is the biggest example of unauthorised data harvesting in Facebook’s history, raising serious concerns about citizens’ privacy and the manipulation of the democratic process in the digital age. Last week’s meeting with Mark Zuckerberg did little to allay our concerns. Instead of a serious cross-examination, it descended into little more than a Facebook PR exercise. These hearings are a chance to correct that and find the answers that our citizens deserve.
“In next week’s hearing we will have both the journalist and whistle-blower who shone a light on the dodgy practices going on at Cambridge Analytica. Their insights will help us get to the bottom of the issue and help us see what action we need to take to ensure that this can never happen again. After the hearings are complete, we will push for Mark Zuckerberg to return to the Parliament and respond to our findings. Facebook and other social media networks have a powerful position in the process of opinion making. We must make sure that this position cannot be abused.
“Following the hearings, our Group will work with other progressive forces to ensure a strong resolution in the Parliament that builds on the results of the meetings and outlines what concrete actions the EU should take to ensure this can never happen again.”