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Facebook says Zuckerberg won't testify to U.K. lawmakers

(Bloomberg) -- Facebook Inc. CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said he will not appear before a U.K. parliamentary committee to give evidence in the wake of allegations that information on millions of its users was misused.

Damian Collins, the head of the committee that is also investigating the impact of social media on recent elections, had invited Zuckerberg to answer for a “catastrophic failure of process.”

"Mr Zuckerberg has personally asked one of his deputies to make themselves available to give evidence in person," Rebecca Stimson, Facebook’s head of U.K. public policy, said in a statement Tuesday. She said Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer or Chief Product Officer Chris Cox would be "well placed" to answer questions.

Collins said Tuesday that he would be happy to invite Cox to give evidence in person but said the committee "would still like to hear from Mr Zuckerberg as well." He said he would suggest the CEO speak via a video link if an in-person appearance was not feasible.

Mark Zuckerberg three.jpg
Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer of Facebook Inc., listens as Narendra Modi, India's prime minister, not pictured, speaks during a town hall meeting at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, California, U.S., on Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015. Prime Minister Modi plans on connecting 600,000 villages across India using fiber optic cable as part of his "dream" to expand the world's largest democracy's economy to $20 trillion. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Facebook has been under pressure since the revelations that vast swathes of data were held by British firm Cambridge Analytica, after it was obtained from a researcher who shared the data without the social network’s permission.

Stimson also said that about 1 percent of global downloads of the app created by the researcher came from users in the European Union, including the U.K.

Zuckerberg last week apologized for the company’s failure to protect its users and promised to investigate whether Cambridge still holds the information it obtained. The U.K.’s privacy watchdog searched the British firm’s offices over the weekend and said it needs to "assess and consider the evidence before deciding the next steps and coming to any conclusions.”