European lawmakers told Mark Zuckerberg they could regulate – or break up – Facebook
European lawmakers pilloried Mark Zuckerberg at a hearing for Facebook’s recent privacy and misinformation mishaps and raised the possibility of new regulation, a more realistic threat than what the social media giant faces in the United States. Opening a hearing with key leaders of the European Parliament, the body's president, Antonio Tajani, described it as an "alarming scandal" that Cambridge Analytica, a political consultancy, could access the names, "likes" and other personal information of 87 million Facebook users. "The price paid by the users is in many cases data in exchange for free services," Tajani said. "However, democracy should never become a marketing operation where anyone who buys that data buys a political advantage." In response, Zuckerberg apologized to European lawmakers, much as he did during his testimony to the US Congress in April. "We didn't take a broad enough view of our responsibility, and that was a mistake. And I'm sorry for it," he said. But some European policymakers did not appear to be swayed by Zuckerberg's entreaties. One member of Parliament, Guy Verhofstadt, lamented that Facebook already had apologized for its missteps "fifteen or sixteen times the last decade." "Mr. Zuckerberg's apologies are not enough," Tajani said at a later press conference. "We are looking for further commitments… and we will be looking forward to getting his written answers on Cambridge Analytica. It’s obvious that kind of thing should not happen again."
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