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ETHI Committee News Release

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Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics
House of Commons / Chambre des communes
Comité permanent de l'accès à l'information, de la protection des renseignements personnels et de l'éthique

For immediate release


NEWS RELEASE


Committee Summons Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg to Appear at International Grand Committee on Big Data, Privacy and Democracy

Ottawa, May 09, 2019 -

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.

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

“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. 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.”

- Bob Zimmer, MP and Chair of the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics

“If Facebook took privacy seriously, it would co-operate with our Privacy Commissioner and Mark Zuckerberg would appear before our international parliamentary committee. Instead, they have refused to do both. Their actions belie any promise to protect our privacy.”

- Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, MP and Vice-Chair of the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics

“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. 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.”

- Charlie Angus, MP and Vice-Chair of the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics

"I fully support the decision to issue a summons to Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg to appear before the International Grand Committee in Ottawa on 28th May. Should they refuse or ignore this summons, it would once again demonstrate their contempt for the parliaments in Canada and the UK, as well as the international committee itself. We will not stop in our efforts to hold them to account for their collection and use of personal data, but it seems they will go to any lengths to avoid detailed public scrutiny."

- Damian Collins, MP and Chair of the UK Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee

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.

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For more information, please contact:
Michael MacPherson, Clerk of the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics
Tel: 613-992-1240
E-mail: ETHI@parl.gc.ca