Facebook's CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, has reportedly declined an invitation to present evidence to a UK parliamentary committee, deferring instead to the company's Chief Technology Officer or Chief Product Officer. Namely, that would mean either Mike Schroepfer or Chris Cox. The motivation for that decision is not immediately apparent and no reason seems to have been given. That does seem somewhat odd, given the chief executive's usual hands-on approach to dealing with matters surrounding the company. Having said that, and as pointed out in the response letter sent by Zuckerberg's office, both of the other executives have an extensive history working with the company. Moreover, in their positions, they should be able to answer any questions the governing body might raise about its ongoing inquiry about possible mishandling of user data by the company.
The remainder of the letter sent out by Zuckerberg's office, shared on Twitter by Bloomberg reporter Joe Mayes, follows almost lock-step in line with apologies the CEO has been giving over the past several weeks. In fact, it seems to mirror sentiments expressed in an advertising campaign Facebook undertook in several newspapers. In that apology, the company outlined changes it was making to its policies and promised to continue investigating applications on its platforms in order to weed out those that break its new policies. Beyond that, the company has said it would be contacting anybody affected by any issues it might find during its own investigation.
For those who may not already be aware, this turn of events stems from ongoing investigations into the social media giant from several agencies, following the unsolicited collection of user data from several years ago. The data was collected via a survey published through the platform, during which only around one-percent of participants appear to have been made aware of the collection. The head of the U.K. committee, Damian Collins, has currently agreed to receive Facebook's Chris Cox to hear evidence, as of this writing. However, Zuckerberg may not be off the hook yet, since Collins also suggested that he could appear via a video conference and that the committee still wants to hear anything he has to say.