Zucker­berg to meet with Euro­pean Union reg­u­la­tor

The Detroit News - - Business - BY AOIFE WHITE Bloomberg News

Face­book Inc. co-founder Mark Zucker­berg is set to meet with one of the Euro­pean Union’s lead­ing reg­u­la­tors this week amid calls on both sides of the At­lantic for more over­sight of dig­i­tal pri­vacy.

Zucker­berg last week tes­ti­fied to the U.S. Congress in the wake of rev­e­la­tions that mil­lions of Face­book users’ pri­vate in­for­ma­tion fell into the hands of Bri­tish con­sult­ing firm Cam­bridge An­a­lyt­ica. He is sched­uled to see Euro­pean Com­mis­sion Vice-Pres­i­dent An­drus An­sip dur­ing a two-day trip to San Fran­cisco start­ing Tues­day, the EU au­thor­ity said.

While the two men have met in­for­mally be­fore — with An­sip tweet­ing a pic­ture from Barcelona in Fe­bru­ary 2016 — it’s the first time An­sip, whose brief cov­ers the dig­i­tal sin­gle mar­ket, or any EU com­mis­sioner has re­ported a meet­ing with Zucker­berg in their on­line cal­en­dars.

Face­book shares were up 0.3 per­cent to $165.08 at 12:20 p.m. in New York. They have fallen about 11 per­cent since the Cam­bridge An­a­lyt­ica scan­dal erupted last month.

Zucker­berg has been called to ap­pear in the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment to ex­plain how Face­book data of as many as 2.7 mil­lion Euro­peans could have been passed to Cam­bridge An­a­lyt­ica. Face­book has said he will not ap­pear. Separately, the EU com­mis­sion is plan­ning to un­veil new leg­is­la­tion next week to set rules for how they deal with busi­ness users, part of a wave of new rules across Eu­rope that seek to curb big in­ter­net firms, most of them Amer­i­can.

Face­book has usu­ally re­lied on Chief Op­er­at­ing Of­fi­cer Sh­eryl Sand­berg to talk to EU of­fi­cials. She met with An­sip, EU pri­vacy chief Vera Jourova and EU dig­i­tal com­mis­sioner Mariya Gabriel in Brus­sels in Jan­uary, fol­low­ing Sil­i­con Val­ley meet­ings with Jourova in Septem­ber and Dim­itris Avramopou­los, who han­dles EU se­cu­rity, in March. Sand­berg also met An­sip in Brus­sels in June 2015 and EU Vice-Pres­i­dent Frans Tim­mer­mans in Davos in Jan­uary 2015.

The Brus­sels-based com­mis­sion said An­sip would also meet with Google Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer Sun­dar Pichai, Twit­ter Gen­eral Coun­sel Sean Ed­gett and Net­flix Gen­eral Coun­sel David Hy­man in in­di­vid­ual meet­ings to talk about data pro­tec­tion, on­line pri­vacy, il­le­gal con­tent, dis­in­for­ma­tion cam­paigns, dig­i­tal copy­right and ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence.

Face­book said it had “noth­ing to share on the de­tails of the meet­ing” and it of­ten hosts politi­cians at its head of­fice to dis­cuss a range of sub­jects.

Zucker­berg last week spent about 10 hours in front of Congress over the course of two days, an­swer­ing ques­tions about how Face­book han­dles con­tent and users’ pri­vacy, re­sult­ing in calls by some law­mak­ers for new reg­u­la­tion of so­cial me­dia.

An­drew Harnik / AP

Face­book CEO Mark Zucker­berg spent about 10 hours in front of Congress last week.

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