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Mark Zuckerberg to Meet With European Lawmakers on Facebook’s Use of Data

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LONDON — Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, will meet with members of the European Parliament as early as next week to address questions about the social media giant’s use of personal data, the body’s president said on Wednesday.

Mr. Zuckerberg’s decision to travel to Brussels comes about a month after he testified before Congress about the consulting firm Cambridge Analytica’s improper use of data culled from Facebook. He has declined British lawmakers’ request that he appear before them to answer questions on the subject.

“Our citizens deserve a full and detailed explanation,” the European Parliament’s president, Antonio Tajani, said in a statement posted on Twitter. “I welcome Mark Zuckerberg’s decision to appear in person.” Mr. Tajani added: “It is a step in the right direction toward restoring confidence.”

A Facebook spokesman confirmed in a statement that Mr. Zuckerberg would meet with European lawmakers.

“We have accepted the Council of President’s proposal to meet with leaders of the European Parliament and appreciate the opportunity for dialogue, to listen to their views and show the steps we are taking to better protect people’s privacy,” the statement said.

The Cambridge Analytica episode has increased pressure on Facebook to explain how it handles its users’ personal data. The company has also been criticized for its role in elections around the world, including whether it has done enough to combat the spread of false news and whether it has moved quickly enough to remove inflammatory content.

Mr. Zuckerberg’s decision to meet with lawmakers in Brussels highlights the breadth of international concern over the Cambridge Analytica matter. Although the European Parliament does not directly regulate Facebook and other technology companies, the region has a reputation as the industry’s toughest watchdog. Officials in Europe have investigated Facebook for the improper handling of customer data, fined Amazon and other companies over their tax practices and penalized firms like Google for antitrust violations.

Follow Prashant S. Rao and Sheera Frenkel on Twitter: @prashantrao and @sheeraf.

Prashant S. Rao reported from London and Sheera Frenkel from San Francisco.


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