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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 10 December 2018

UK lawmakers prepare to summon Zuckerberg

The Facebook chief executive had declined to appear in parliament over data scandal

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg makes the keynote speech at F8, theFacebook's developer conference, Tuesday, May 1, 2018, in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg makes the keynote speech at F8, theFacebook's developer conference, Tuesday, May 1, 2018, in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

British parliamentarians said they were prepared to issue a formal summons for Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg to appear before them and answer questions over a data scandal which has engulfed the technology giant.

The social network has faced questions on both sides of the Atlantic over how millions of users' details got into the hands of political consultancy Cambridge Analytica, and over its wider handling of personal data.

Zuckerberg previously declined to come in person to answer questions from British lawmakers, instead sending Facebook's Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer to face a four-hour grilling last month. Schroepfer apologised for errors made by the firm and vowed to do more to improve transparency.

But the head of parliament's Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee Damian Collins said on Tuesday he still wanted Zuckerberg to appear before lawmakers, ideally by May 24, and listed 39 questions or points which remained unanswered.

"While Mr Zuckerberg does not normally come under the jurisdiction of the UK parliament, he will do so the next time he enters the country," Collins wrote in a letter.

"We hope that he will respond positively to our request, but if not the Committee will resolve to issue a formal summons for him to appear when he is next in the UK."