Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg should testify in person in front of European lawmakers to show that he understands the sensitivities of privacy in the region following the Facebook data crisis, a top European Union official said on Friday.
Vera Jourova, the European commissioner for justice, consumers and gender equality, renewed calls for Zuckerberg to appear in Europe, following his two-day questioning in front of lawmakers in Congress.
“I expect that Mr Zuckerberg will take this invitation because I believe that face-to-face communication and being available for such communication will be a good sign that Mr Zuckerberg understands the European market … is serving to people who are very, very sensitive to their privacy,” Jourova said in a TV interview.
“I think it would be a good thing to do to come to Europe.”
The comments come following revelations that 87 million users were affected by the recent facebook data leak. A quiz app harvested Facebook profiles for data before sending it over to political consultancy Cambridge Analytica. Cambridge Analytica managed to obtain data on 2.7 million Europeans, which is why it is such a huge issue in the region.
Facebook and Cambridge Analytica are facing investigations from a number of data protection watchdogs across the EU.
Zuckerberg has already been asked to travel to Europe to testify by Antonio Tajani, the president of the European Parliament. He has continued pressing the Facebook CEO.
Individual countries in Europe have also requested the presence of Zuckerberg including the UK Facebook said it would not send its leader, but instead send one of his deputies.
The EU is trying to clamp down on rogue data practices and on Thursday announced a social media working group to investigate other firms that may have misused user data.
A major new piece of legislation known as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is also set to come into force on May 25 in the EU, and it will impose stricter data protection rules on companies such as Facebook and Google.