In light of the Cambridge Analytica scandal which has revealed Facebook as a treasure trove of personal data of its users and its consequent abuse, Mark Zuckerberg the creator of Facebook is facing political heat across the world. Since revelations came of the sale and abuse of personal data of over 50 million Facebook users Zuckerberg has been summoned by multiple governments to personally explain the causes as well as the preventive measures Facebook has taken for the future. He is scheduled to appear before the House Energy and Commerce Committee of the U.S. Congress later this week and has also been summoned by the British government. However, Zuckerberg has refused to appear before the UK Parliament and will instead be sending his Chief Product Officer Chris Cox.
Zuckerberg has apologised for a "breach of trust", but said he will not appear in front of the inquiry. Cox will give evidence to MPs in the first week after the Easter parliamentary break, according to a BBC report.
The British MP’s wanting Zuckerberg to testify reportedly want clarification on three points related to user data with Facebook – Data mining, data manipulation and fake news. The context for the inquiry is the Whistleblower’s allegation that the LeaveEU campaign in the run-up to the Brexit vote flouted rules and worked with Cambridge Analytica to spend more money targeting voters.
Zuckerberg’s refusal to come to London is his third time refusing to appear in the Commons. According to Stephen Beard, Marketplace’s London bureau chief, “They can't force him. He (Zuckerberg) could be declared in contempt of Parliament. However, he's not a British citizen, so he can't be compelled. In reputational terms, it's a little damaging, but he's already suffered a lot of reputational damage on that side of the pond (UK).” Marketplace.org creates radio programmes to raise the economic intelligence of its U.S. audience.
The Cambridge Analytica scandal comes even as the U.K. Information Regulator is going to get additional powers very shortly. A new [European Union]-wide data protection law will come into force in May this year with multimillion dollar fines for companies that don't adequately protect data.
However, Huffpost reported that the U.S. House Committee is working with the Facebook to determine a date and time for Mark Zuckerberg to appear in front of them as reports abound of the Trump Campaign using Cambridge Analytica to target American voters in the 2016 U.S. elections.