FACEBOOK HAS SAID NO to sending boss man Mark Zuckerberg over the Atlantic to answer questions and concerns over the social network's part in the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
Zuckerberg had previously shunned the request to appear in front of a parliamentary select committee and instead opted to send chief technology officer Mark Schroepfer instead.
But Schroepfer clearly didn't impress the UK's Digital, Culture, Media and Sports Committee, which noted that it wasn't happy with the CTO's responses to its questions and sent out another request to get Zuck in to give some answers.
The chair of the Committee, Damian Collins, noted that if Zuck didn't respond favourably to the request he'd get a formal summons the next time he set foot on British soil.
Yet despite such threats, Zuckerberg appears to have been unfazed and declined to pop over the pond to face-off with MPs.
Facebook's head of public policy Rebecca Stimson wrote a letter to the Committee, explaining that the company had provided information on its approach to data collection and privacy all across the globe, suggesting that after his grilling by US senators Zuckerberg doesn't need to face questions from UK MPs.
"We were disappointed after providing a very significant amount of information to the committee at the last hearing the committee declared our response insufficient," noted Stimson.
But the Collins didn't look favourably on Facebook's response or Stimson's letter.
"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," he said.
"If Mark Zuckerberg truly recognises the 'seriousness' of these issues as they say they do, we would expect that he would want to appear in front of the Committee and answer questions that are of concern not only to Parliament, but Facebook's tens of millions of users in this country."
But Collins did say the Committee is willing to probe Zuck over a video link given the chief exec has no current plans to jet over to Blighty. So Collins and his fellow MPs are at least throwing out options.
We'll have to wait and see what Zuckerberg's response is to such an option, but given the schooling he gave US senators on how online services work, the Committee better has some proper questions up its sleeve. µ
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