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Mark Zuckerberg is meeting with the UK official who wants to regulate Facebook



After the avoidance of multiple requests to testify in front of the UK parliamentary committee, Facebook ( FB ) CEO is set to meet Thursday with Jeremy Wright, the UK secretary for digital, culture, media and sports.

In an interview with CNN Business on Wednesday, Wright said he plans to tell Zuckerberg that he should show up to testify in front of the UK parliament to explain Facebook's approach to data privacy and efforts to stop the misinformation spread.

"I think it would be a chance for him to make a case". Wright said shortly after meeting with executives at Google ( GOOGL ] one of several major technology companies. "And if he does not do that, there will be a suspicion ̵
1; and indeed there is – that he does not have a good case to do."

For Wright, the visit to California with UK Digital Minister Margot James is a way to get input from the companies that will be directly impacted by any future UK regulation – something that is no longer a question of whether it happens, but when and how. [196459004]

'Digital gangsters'

Wright's visit is the same week as the release of a scathing UK parliamentary report on disinformation and fake news, which likened Facebook to "digital gangsters" that knowingly violated data privacy and competition law.

Throughout the 18-month inquiry, the committee repeatedly asked Zuckerberg to testify. The requests were rebuffed so many times that the committee said it would issue a summons to the billionaire CEO if he ever set foot in the United Kingdom.

 UK lawmakers: Facebook deliberately and knowingly & # 39; violated data privacy laws

In response to the report, Facebook denied it violated any laws and said it's open to regulation.

Last week, a report commissioned by the Wright's Department on how to preserve high-quality journalism in the United Kingdom recommended that the government investigate the dominance of Facebook and Google's advertising, and that A regulator should oversee the relationship between the news industry and the tech giants.
The other tech companies Wright and James will visit during their trip include twitter [196459002] ( TWTR ) Apple ( AAPL ]) Snap ( SNAP ) and Tinder. They also plan to meet tech experts and high profile figures like LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman.

Regulation is coming

Wright told CNN Business that the executives at the tech companies he's talked to so far seem to recognize the regulation coming in, though they're keen to show him the mechanisms they already have in place . That self-regulation is not enough, Wright said.

"There's an acceptance that the UK government is determined to have a system in place to catch those who do not behave as they should," he said. "Although I do not think anyone welcomes regulation, there's acceptance, this will almost certainly happen, and we're getting a good conversations about how this will take place."

 2018 was the year Facebook and Twitter grew up [19659022] 2018 was the year Facebook and Twitter grew up

Wright and Home Secretary Sajid Javid will be releasing a white paper in the coming weeks with a range of legislative and non-legislative proposals to address online risks.

One of Wright and Javid's major concerns is how to make the online world "safer" from illegal activity like child exploitation, cyber bullying and harassment, as well as less clear-cut issues such as posts that seem to promote self-harm.

Wright said they are considering a range of options, including appointing a new online regulator. But he warned that the white paper is just the starting point.

"This is a consultative process, deliberately so," he said, noting that if the UK enacts these regulations, it will be "groundbreaking." That makes it "so important that you take the trouble to get the details right and talk to those who will be directly affected by it," he added.

"It is important that we do the same while protecting people from harm. .. and at the same time maintain what's best about the internet, "Wright said. "We have to try and strike a balance between them."


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