Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg refuses to face MPs over Cambridge Analytica scandal
Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg has refused to face a grilling from MPs over the alleged major data breach on his social platform.
Instead the firm will send a deputy in his place to give evidence in the inquiry about fake news, a spokesperson said.
The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee summoned Mr Zuckerberg last week after it emerged controversial political consultancy Cambridge Analytica harvested data from some 50 million profiles.
But responding this morning, a Facebook spokesperson said the Chief Technology Officer or Chief Product Officer could be flown into London in his place.
"Facebook fully recognises the level of public and Parliamentary interest in these issues and support your belief that these issues must be addressed at the most senior levels of the company by those in an authoritative position to answer your questions,” the spokesman said.
"As such, Mr Zuckerberg has personally asked one of his deputies to make themselves available to give evidence in person to the Committee."
Committee chair Mr Collins said he would be happy for one of the deputies to face MPs after the Easter recess.
But he added that it would be more "appropriate" for Mr Zuckerberg to give evidence and said "we would still like to hear" from the Facebook founder.
It comes as whistleblower Christopher Wylie prepared to give evidence to the Committee over his previous work with Cambridge Analytica.
Earlier this month he revealed that the company harvested the Facebook data through a third-party quiz app and used it to profile prospective voters ahead of the 2016 US presidential election.
The firm is credited with helping Donald Trump win the keys to the White House through its use of targeted Facebook adverts.