European Parliament President Antonio Tajani said today the institution will “investigate fully” the reports of massive misuse of Facebook’s data for political purposes.
The social media company is under fire as revelations come out that data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica misused large data sets from Facebook to help politicians including U.S. President Donald Trump and the U.K. Brexit campaign.
Tajani tweeted the allegations pointed to “an unacceptable violation of our citizens’ privacy rights” and “the European Parliament will investigate fully, calling digital platforms to account.”
Asked what the European Parliament would do, the office of the president clarified there was no specific plan yet.
Spokesperson Carlo Corazza said “we want to know more” about revelations and said the reports, if true, showed social media could pose a “threat to democracy.”
Tajani would discuss the issue at the Council of Presidents, a meeting of the most powerful figures in the European Parliament. His office is considering having Facebook and others explain themselves before MEPs during a plenary session.
The European Parliament does not have subpoena powers to force representatives of Facebook, Cambridge Analytica or other firms to testify but it can put political pressure on these companies to do so.
Parliament could work on a resolution that would ask the Commission to look into legislative options. It could also start an inquiry committee, as it did with scandals around tax evasion and other issues in the past, which would give MEPs more time to pressure companies into testifying.