EU legislature to live stream Zuckerberg meeting after criticism over plans for closed-door hearing

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has agreed to have his meeting Tuesday with the leaders of the European Parliament about data privacy be broadcast publicly through web streaming.

European Parliament President Antonio Tajani calls it 'great news'

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg pauses while testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington on April 11. Zuckerberg had originally expressed shock that foreign actors would try and exploit Facebook to sow divisions during the 2016 election campaign, but his company eventually advised Congress of hundreds of suspicious ads. (Andrew Harnik/Associated Press)

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has agreed to have his meeting Tuesday with the leaders of the European Parliament about data privacy be broadcast publicly through web streaming.

The evening meeting with leaders of the political group and a justice and civil rights expert was long expected to be private. But many in the European Parliament had been calling for an on-air grilling for Zuckerberg to explain his company's role in a scandal about the misuse of customer data.

European Parliament President Antonio Tajani said in a statement Monday that after discussing the issue with Zuckerberg, "I am glad to announce that he has accepted this new request."

Tajani called it "great news for EU citizens. I thank him for the respect" shown for the EU legislature.

A Facebook spokesperson said: "We're looking forward to the meeting and happy for it to be live streamed."

Zuckerberg, who founded the U.S. social media giant, will be in Europe to defend the company after scandal over its sale of personal data to a British political consultancy, which worked on U.S. President Donald Trump's election campaign, among others.

Zuckerberg will meet Tajani and leaders of parties in the European Parliament in Brussels from 6:15 p.m. local time on Tuesday.

He is also due to meet French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday.

With files from Reuters