Following the meeting with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the Chair of the Civil Liberties Committee, Claude Moraes (S&D, UK) stated:
“The Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data breach affects millions of European citizens, either because they have been directly affected by the practices of Cambridge Analytica or because they are Facebook’s users. European citizens need to know what happens and we cannot hide this debate from them, so we welcome Facebook agreeing to the hearing being webstreamed live. Holding the meeting behind closed doors would have diluted public confidence in the process and in Facebook’s willingness to live up to the responsibilities expected of it.
Trust in Facebook has suffered as a result of the data breach and it is clear that Mr. Zuckerberg and Facebook will have to make serious efforts to reverse the situation and to convince individuals that Facebook fully complies with European Data Protection law. General statements like “We take privacy of our customers very seriously” are not sufficient, Facebook has to comply and demonstrate it, and for the time being this is far from being the case.
The Cambridge Analytica scandal was already in breach of the current Data Protection Directive, and would also be contrary to the GDPR, which is soon to be implemented. I expect the EU Data Protection Authorities to take appropriate action to enforce the law.
From the data protection package, which will imminently enter into force, to the current negotiations on the e-Privacy Regulation, the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee has been at the forefront of developing the EU’s privacy laws which are now the strongest in the world. Our Committee, mandated by the European Parliament, will now conduct an investigation into these issues and will hold several hearings to have a clear and complete picture of these serious and worrying facts.”