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Last updated: 16 May, 2018  

FB.9.Thmb.jpg Facebook CEO refuses to face-off with British parliamentarians

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IANS | 16 May, 2018
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has no plans as of now to face members of a British parliamentary committee probing the misuse of the firm's data its practice of collecting user information, the media reported.

In a letter to the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, Rebecca Stimson, Facebook's Head of Public Policy in the UK, said that "Zuckerberg has no plans to meet with the committee or travel to the UK at the present time", theregister.co.uk reported on Tuesday.

The committee had expressed dissatisfaction with Facebook's response to various points it raised including on Cambridge Analytica, dark ads, Facebook Connect, the amount spent by Russia on UK ads on the platform, data collection across the web and budgets for investigations.

Stimson's letter, however, did not dampen the desire of the committee to hear from Zuckerberg directly.

"Although Facebook says Zuckerberg has no plans to travel to the UK, we would also be open to taking his evidence by video link, if that would be the only way to do this during the period of our inquiry," said Chair of the Committee Damian Collins in response to Stimson's letter.

"For too long these companies have gone unchallenged in their business practices, and only under public pressure from this Committee and others have they begun to fully cooperate with our requests," Collins added.

The committee issued Facebook 39 questions it said the firm's Chief technology Officer Mike Schroepfer had failed to answer in his evidence to the parliamentarians.

The committee said Facebook's latest responses to these questions do not fully answer each point with sufficient detail or data evidence.

The committee said it plans to write again to address significant gaps in Facebook's answers in the coming days.

"It is disappointing that a company with the resources of Facebook chooses not to provide a sufficient level of detail and transparency on various points including on Cambridge Analytica, dark ads, Facebook Connect, the amount spent by Russia on UK ads on the platform, data collection across the web, budgets for investigations, and that shows general discrepancies between Schroepfer and Zuckerberg's respective testimonies," Collins said.

"Given that these were follow up questions to questions Schroepfer previously failed to answer, we expected both detail and data, and in a number of cases got excuses," Collins added.
 
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