Facebook/Cambridge Analytica: MEPs pursue personal data breaches probe

Facebook_Zuckerberg European Parliament 2018

Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook at the European Parliament on 22 May 2018 (The European Sting, 2018)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament.

The impact of the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal on personal data protection will be assessed by MEPs and experts on Monday 4 June.

MEPs will discuss the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data breaches with key people involved, to obtain a clear and complete picture of what happened. This is the first in a series of three hearings investigating the case.

The hearing follows up on the 22 May meeting between the founder and CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg and EP President Antonio Tajani, political group leaders and the Chair and Rapporteur of the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee.

Civil Liberties Committee Chair Claude Moraes (S&D, UK), said: “It is important that we quickly follow up on our meeting with Mark Zuckerberg with more in-depth committee hearings with key interlocutors in the Cambridge Analytica and Facebook scandal. Our aim is to dig deeper, learn key lessons and set out the way forward using the EU tools at our disposal.”

This event is organised by the Civil Liberties Committee, in association with the committees on Industry, Constitutional Affairs and Legal Affairs.

When: Monday 4 June 2018, 17.30 – 20.00

Where: József Antall building (Brussels), room JAN 4Q2

Draft programme

Speakers at the hearing

  • Carole Cadwalladr, journalist at The Guardian
  • Christopher Wylie, former employee at Cambridge Analytica
  • Sandy Parakalis, former operations manager at Facebook
  • Elizabeth Denham, Information Commissioner at ICO (UK)
  • Professor David Caroll, associate professor at Parsons School of Design in New York

The hearing will be webstreamed. The link to the webstreaming will appear here.

Follow-up hearings

The second hearing, on 25 June 2018, will focus on the consequences of the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica case for privacy and data protection, the impact on electoral processes, consumer trust in digital platforms and cybersecurity. The invited speakers include specialists and Facebook representatives.

The third hearing, to be held on 2 July 2018, will focus on possible solutions and EU policies that could remedy the negative consequences and prevent these incidents from happening again. The Commissioners concerned and Facebook representatives will be invited to the hearing.

Background

On 22 May 2018, leading MEPs met with Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and Founder of Facebook, to hear his explanation of for the use of Facebook users’ data by Cambridge Analytica and issues related to data protection, the impact on electoral processes, fake news and the market position of Facebook.

Following a request by President Tajani, Facebook sent answers to questions from  Parliament’s leaders that Mr Zuckerberg did not have the time to cover during the meeting.

The decision to hold a hearing on the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica case was taken by the Conference of Presidents in April.

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