The UK may issue a formal summons to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg that would require him to appear in front of British lawmakers the next time he enters the country, according to a letter sent to the company Tuesday.
Facebook Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer “failed to answer fully” 39 questions when he appeared before Parliament last week, according to the letter from the Parliament’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee. As a result, lawmakers are requesting the presence of the company’s boss. Schroepfer went to London in place of Zuckerberg to give evidence as part of the committee’s inquiry into the Cambridge Analytica data-mining scandal and the impact of fake news on the 2016 Brexit referendum.
Committee chair Damian Collins has repeatedly asked Zuckerberg to appear and answer questions, as the CEO did last month before Congress. Instead, Zuckerberg has twice sent other executives in his place.
Collins reiterated his request for Zuckerberg to appear in front of the committee in the Tuesday letter, asking that he do so before May 24 when the Facebook chief will reportedly visit Europe to give evidence to the European Parliament.
“It is worth noting that, while Mr Zuckerberg does not normally come under the jurisdiction of the UK Parliament, he will do so next time he enters the country,” according to the letter. “We hope that he will respond positively to our request, but if not the Committee will resolve to issue a formal summons for him to appear when he is next in the UK.”
Collins listed the 39 questions that the committee believes Schroepfer failed to sufficiently answer, including ones about dark ads that can only be seen by the target audience, foreign spending on election-related ads, third-party app developers, and the storage and privacy of Facebook user data.
The committee’s inquiry began last July, but doubled down on investigating Facebook’s activities following revelations in March that data consultancy Cambridge Analytica had accessed Facebook data of 87 million users.
Facebook didn’t immediately respond to request for comment. I think Mark Zuckerberg may have had enough of “parliamentary” inquiries for now.