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Parliamentarians from across the world to question Richard Allan of Facebook, and the Information Commissioner at inaugural hearing of ‘international grand committee' on Disinformation and ‘fake news'

23 November 2018

24 Members of the International Grand Committee on Disinformation and ‘fake news' from nine international parliaments will hold an evidence session on 27 November 2018.


Tuesday 27 November 2018, Boothroyd Room, Portcullis House

At 11.30am

  • Richard Allan, Vice President of Policy Solutions, Facebook

At 3.30pm

  • Elizabeth Denham, Information Commissioner
  • Steve Wood, Deputy Information Commissioner

At 4.30pm

  • Ashkan Soltani, tech expert

The session will be streamed live at 10.30am. Clips can be taken in the normal way from the Parliamentary Broadcasting Unit. Contact

About the session and visiting parliamentarians

Parliamentarians from Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, France, Ireland, Latvia, Singapore and members of the UK's Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee will join together for the ‘International Grand Committee' on Disinformation and ‘fake news' at the House of Commons in London on the 27th November from 11.30am. Joining together for this unprecedented meeting will be:  

  • Leopoldo Moreau, Chair, Freedom of Expression Commission, Chamber of Deputies, Argentina
  • Nele Lijnen, member, Committee on Infrastructure, Communications and Public Enterprises, Parliament of Belgium
  • Alessandro Molon, Member of the Chamber of Deputies, Brazil
  • Bob Zimmer, Chair, and Nathaniel Erskine-Smith and Charlie Angus, Vice Chairs, Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics, House of Commons, Canada
  • Catherine Morin-Desailly, Chair, Standing Committee on Culture, Education and Media, French Senate
  • Hildegarde Naughton, Chair, and Eamon Ryan, Deputy Chair, Joint Committee on Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Parliament of Ireland
  • Dr Inese Lībiņa-Egnere, Deputy Speaker, Parliament of Latvia
  • Pritam Singh, Edwin Tong and Sun Xueling, members, Select Committee on Deliberate Online Falsehoods, Parliament of Singapore. 

Parliamentarians had written to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, inviting him to appear. Facebook refused twice saying he was “not able to be in London” and “not able to accept the invitation.” The Committee offered the opportunity for him to give evidence over video link, which was also refused. Facebook has offered Richard Allan, Vice President of Policy Solutions, which the Committee has accepted. The Committee still believes that Mark Zuckerberg is the appropriate person to answer important questions about data privacy, safety, security and sharing. The recent New York Times investigation raises further questions about how recent data breaches were allegedly dealt with within Facebook, and when the senior leadership team became aware of the breaches and the spread of Russian disinformation.  

Elizabeth Denham is the Information Commissioner in the UK, and Steve Wood is the deputy Information Commissioner. The ICO's recent investigation into the use of data in elections and campaigns, the largest of its kind, found a “disturbing disregard for voters' personal privacy” when it reported an update on November 2016.

Press conference

At 2pm, a representative from each of the seven parliaments will participate in a formal signing ceremony for a set of ‘International Principles for the Law Governing the Internet'. These seven representatives will then take questions from the press before reconvening to take evidence from tech expert Paul Olivier Dehaye at 3.30pm back in the Boothroyd room.  
The press conference is now full.

Further information

Image: iStockphoto