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Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has added a public component to his upcoming European political tour by agreeing to be interviewed onstage at the Viva Technology mega conference in Paris.
Dubbed VivaTech, the conference opens its third edition Thursday May 24, which is the day Zuckerberg will be interviewed by Maurice Lévy, Publicis Groupe chair and cofounder of the conference. The event will also be livestreamed, according to conference organizers.
The interview will cap a busy week for Zuckerberg, who is making his first trip to Europe — where Facebook has been the subject of intense criticism from policymakers and regulators — since the Cambridge Analyitica controversy broke earlier this year.
Zuckerberg, who gave extensive testimony recently at a U.S. Congressional hearing, has denied requests from U.K. lawmakers to appear at that nation’s parliament. However, he did negotiate a private hearing with members of the European Parliament next Tuesday in Brussels, apparently accompanied by COO Sheryl Sandberg, who may testify publicly later.
While Zuckerberg’s meeting will be behind closed doors, lawmakers will be allowed to take notes and discuss the meeting publicly. Still, the decision has caused controversy, with some European lawmakers lobbying for Zuckerberg’s appearance to be a public hearing.
On the day before VivaTech, Zuckerberg has agreed to attend Tech for Good, an exclusive tech summit organized by French president Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace. Zuckerberg reportedly will have a one-on-one meeting with Macron during the event. Tech for Good will feature appearances from chiefs of Microsoft, IBM, Uber, and more, many of whom are also speaking at VivaTech.
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