Skip to content

Privacy committee wants to hear from Mark Zuckerberg

Prince Geoerge-Peace River-Northern Rockies MP Bob Zimmer Credit: Bernard Thibodeau, House of Commons Photo Services
Prince Geoerge-Peace River-Northern Rockies MP Bob Zimmer Credit: Bernard Thibodeau, House of Commons Photo Services

The Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics has unanimously adopted motions to summon Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg to appear at the International Grand Committee on Big Data, Privacy and Democracy in Ottawa on May 28.

“Mark Zuckerberg has repeatedly ignored our committee’s invitation to appear and personally give testimony regarding the handling of Canadians’ private information on his platform,” said Bob Zimmer, Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies MP, and chair of the committee. “He also refused to appear before the first meeting of the International Grand Committee in London, UK. It is clear from the motions’ unanimous support that our committee feels strongly that Mark Zuckerberg and his COO Sheryl Sandberg have a duty to appear before the International Grand Committee on Big Data, Privacy and Democracy and answer questions from lawmakers representing over 372 million citizens worldwide.”

In response to these motions,  Zimmer has sent the summons to Facebook Canada, Zuckerberg and Sandberg.

“If Facebook took privacy seriously, it would co-operate with our Privacy Commissioner and Mark Zuckerberg would appear before our international parliamentary committee,” said Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, MP and Vice-Chair of the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics. “Instead, they have refused to do both. Their actions belie any promise to protect our privacy.”

Representatives from at least ten countries, including Canada, will be participating in the International Grand Committee on Big Data, Privacy and Democracy, including Argentina, Chile, France, Germany, Ireland, Latvia, Singapore, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom.

“Facebook’s disregard for the rights of Canadian citizens and their claim that Canada doesn’t even have the jurisdiction to enforce Canadian law is unprecedented,” said Charlie Angus, MP and Vice-Chair of the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics. “This has necessitated the need to issue a summons to Mr. Zuckerberg and Ms. Sandberg to explain their corporate disregard for Canadians. We will see if they are willing to respect the will of parliamentarians particularly as we are hosting legislators from around the world.”

What do you think about this story?