The EU Parliament hearing that Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg is set to attend tomorrow will be live-streamed following significant backlash from the general public and privacy advocates that emerged after lawmakers on the Old Continent said the questioning will be private last week. Two days later, the multi-billionaire will also be interviewed on the stage of the Viva Technology conference in Paris. European Parliament President Antonio Tajani said Monday the broadcast has been agreed following a dialogue with Facebook, adding that the hearing is meant to take place from 6:15 PM to 19:30 PM CET.
Both the parliamentary hearing and the subsequent interview in Paris will center on the Cambridge Analytica scandal and privacy breaches that followed, raising concerns about how Facebook can be misused and abused by third parties interested in violating people's privacy for profit and other goals. Mr. Zuckerberg already attended two congressional hearings over the matter in the United States, having been questioned by stateside lawmakers over two days for nearly ten hours in total in mid-April. The European hearing is expected to be much less friendly than the one held in his home country that revealed precious little about the manner in which Facebook operates and how it intends to combat misuse attempts on its platform, outside of what was already known.
Legislators in the United Kingdom also attempted organizing an audience over the matter with the Facebook CEO, having even threatened a formal summons, but are now more likely to only have their questions answered via a conference call. The Tuesday hearing will be broadcast through the European Parliament's website, unlike the two U.S. ones which were streamed via YouTube, Mr. Tajani said. The issue of Brexit may also be raised during the questioning in regards to some alleged misinformation campaigns organized on Facebook during the historic 2016 referendum. Facebook is presently probing all third-party apps on its platform for potential privacy abuses and has already suspended over 200 of them since the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke in late March. The company's stock largely recovered from that episode and is presently on course to regain its all-time high of $190 in the coming weeks.