MPs invite Tim Cook, Sundar Pichai to Ottawa to discuss fake news, privacy

Canadian MPs also wish to speak to Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter's Jack Dorsey, among others

Tim Cook

A House of Commons committee is calling on Apple CEO Tim Cook, Google CEO Sundar Pichai and several other tech giant executives to attend an international hearing in Ottawa this spring.

The committee, which oversees issues related to access to information, privacy and ethics, will host the second meeting of the International Grand Committee on Disinformation and Fake News in Ottawa on May 28th.

In addition to Canadian MPs, the committee will also welcome representatives from the U.K., France, Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Ireland, Singapore and Latvia.

Besides Cook and Pichai, the committee says it has also invited the following tech company executives:

  • Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos
  • Amazon Web Services (AWS) CEO Andrew Jassy
  • Apple COO Jeff Williams
  • Facebook chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg
  • Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg
  • Former Google executive chair Eric Schmidt
  • Snap Inc. CEO Evan Spiegel
  • Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey
  • WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton

Speaking to the CBC, Conservative MP Bob Zimmer and chair of the Canadian committee said the hearing is meant to be a chance for these executives to explain how they’re combating the spread of fake news and working to protect consumer privacy.

“It is vitally important that we hear from these top executives so that we can get the answers we’ve been seeking,” Zimmer told the CBC . “We will not be accepting testimony from regional representatives at this meeting, as previous experience has shown that their answers have proven to be, frankly, inadequate.”

Zimmer appears to be referring to last year’s inaugural hearing in London, U.K. when Facebook sent Richard Allan, Facebook vice president of policy solutions, to address the committee in place of Zuckerberg.

This was in spite of the fact that the committee wanted to speak to Zuckerberg about Facebook’s involvement in the Cambridge Analytica scandal that saw the appropriate access of the data of 87 million users.

Source: CBC