Mark Zuckerberg won't appear before UK lawmakers

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has turned down a request from British lawmakers to answer questions on how the social n...

Posted: Mar 27, 2018 3:18 PM
Updated: Mar 27, 2018 3:18 PM

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has turned down a request from British lawmakers to answer questions on how the social network collects and stores user data.

Facebook said in a letter to lawmakers dated Monday that it would make two senior executives -- but not Zuckerberg -- available to testify in the UK after Easter.

Damian Collins, chair of the UK parliament's media committee, had specifically asked that Zuckerberg appear to answer questions about the tech company's data scandal.

"Mr. Zuckerberg has personally asked one of his deputies to make themselves available to give evidence in person," Facebook UK executive Rebecca Stimson wrote in the letter to Collins. The company provided a copy of the letter to CNN.

Facebook said that Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer or Chief Product Officer Chris Cox would appear before the committee.

Related: Mark Zuckerberg breaks his silence on Cambridge Analytica scandal

News broke earlier this month that Cambridge Analytica, a data firm with ties to President Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign, reportedly accessed information from about 50 million Facebook users without their knowledge.

Collins said Tuesday that he was still hopeful that Zuckerberg would appear.

"We believe, given the serious nature of the allegations that have been made ... that it is appropriate that Mr. Mark Zuckerberg should give evidence to the committee," he said. "We would still like to hear from Mr. Zuckerberg."

Related: Facebook data practices under investigation, FTC confirms

Zuckerberg is facing numerous calls to appear before lawmakers in the United States.

On Monday, Republican Senator Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, called on the Facebook CEO to appear at an April 10 hearing about data privacy.

Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, has said that Zuckerberg should appear before that committee, too.

Related: These are the lawmakers who want Mark Zuckerberg to testify

Bipartisan leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation committees have also requested that Zuckerberg appear before them.

Last week, Zuckerberg told CNN that he's "happy to" testify in front of Congress "if it's the right thing to do."

"This was a major breach of trust, and I'm really sorry that this happened," he said.

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