Members of the European Parliament were none happier than those of the U.S. Congress with Mark Zuckerberg's answers to their questions.
The Facebook Inc. (FB) - Get Facebook, Inc. Class A Report CEO answered questions from members of the European Parliament about data security and privacy, ahead of the implementation of the General Data Privacy Regulation, or GDPR, on May 25, which will change how companies operating in Europe are required to handle users' personal information online.
Updated from 2:20 p.m. with additional information.
After Zuckerberg read some prepared remarks, Parliament members asked Zuckerberg a series of questions about topics including Facebook's progress in complying with the new regulation, whether he considers Facebook to be a monopoly, whether Facebook is in fact a neutral platform for exchanging views and how Zuckerberg and his company plan to protect users' personal information. Zuckerberg took notes while the questions were being asked, and then responded for about 30 minutes afterwards.
In his responses, Zuckerberg repeated many of the same answers he gave in his Congressional testimony, saying that Facebook was dedicated to using AI and thousands of human moderators to improve the quality of content and keep out inaccurate information. He did not answer every question asked by members but said he would follow up separately, which upset some members of Parliament, who continued to ask Zuckerberg follow-up questions as the meeting was ending.
One member said he was "anxious about this 'Brave New World' that Mr. Zuckerberg has presented," while another complained that "I asked you six yes or no questions without any answers!"
GBH Analyst Daniel Ives wrote Tuesday after Zuckerberg's remarks that the impact of the Cambridge Analytica data misuse scandal on Facebook's business has been fairly negligible to this point.
"So far the fundamental damage to the Facebook platform has been 'very contained' in our opinion and is better than feared which is a relief for the Street," Ives wrote. "However this will be a long winding road with a defining few weeks and months that lies ahead for Facebook and Zuckerberg, with today's hearing in Brussels kicking off another important chapter to help navigate the treacherous regulatory landscape over the next 12 to 18 months."
In his prepared remarks before being questioned, Zuckerberg reiterated many of his points from his Congressional testimony. Zuckerberg said that Facebook was unprepared for the election interference on the platform during the 2016 U.S. Presidential election, but is investing in artificial intelligence and other means of combating "fake news."
Zuckerberg also talked about Europeans using Facebook's Safety Check tool during recent terrorist attacks in Berlin, Paris, London and Brussels, where the Parliament gathering was taking place.
"We're very committed to Europe: Dublin is home to our European headquarters. London is home to our biggest engineering team outside the United States; Paris is home to a big part of our artificial intelligence research," Zuckerberg said.
Facebook shares were down slightly when Zuckerberg began his appearance, and were flat at around $184.43 by the time he concluded. Since the beginning of this year, Facebook's stock has increased almost 5%.
During Zuckerberg's previous appearances before the U.S. Congress, he fielded questions about Cambridge Analytica, data privacy, Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election, censorship political bias and possible regulation of the social network.
Investors responded positively then as Facebook's market cap increased by about $17.3 billion over the course of Zuckerberg's 11 hours of Congressional testimony. Its stock has now recovered all of the losses that occurred when the Cambridge Analytica news first came out in mid-March.