As the international grand committee on big data, privacy, and democracy is meeting in Canada this week to examine the role of internet giants in safeguarding the privacy and democratic rights, Facebook executives Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg won’t be appearing which may find the duo in contempt of Parliament, the National Post reports.
New Democrat MP Charlie Angus, moved the motion to serve a summons on Facebook executives, compelling them to appear before the group the next time either sets foot on Canadian soil. “Mr. Zuckerberg has stated his willingness to work with legislators but he seems to blow us off whenever it seems we want to ask him questions,” said Angus.
The committee’s chair, Conservative MP Bob Zimmer, said it was “abhorrent” the two did not appear. “As soon as they step foot — either Mr. Zuckerberg or Ms. Sandberg — into our country they will be served and expected to appear before our committee,” added Zimmer:
Conservative MP Peter Kent said Zuckerberg and Sandberg were showing “extreme disrespect and disregard” in not responding to the committee’s summons.
Jim Balsillie, the former chief executive of Research In Motion, also offered a thinly veiled criticism of Zuckerberg and Sandberg for not responding to the committee’s summons to testify. “When this new Fourth Estate declines to appear before this committee — as Silicon Valley executives are currently doing — it is symbolically asserting this aspirational co-equal status.”
Although the MPs said if the executives continue to refuse they will be held in contempt, they did not explain exactly what consequences the Facebook execs might face.