A politician who told British voters details about his love life they wouldn't let him forget, Sir Nick Clegg knows something about navigating tricky situations. And bad press.

Those are skills that Facebook, which named Clegg vice president of global affairs and communications on Friday, expects to leverage as it grapples with growing government concern about its handling of user data, particularly in the European Union, where tough new privacy rules took effect this year.

Clegg contended with merciless ribbing from the British press over his sex life after a May 2008 interview with Piers Morgan in British GQ, in which he replied to a question about how many women he had slept with by saying "no more than 30."

In the same interview, he told of first meeting his wife Miriam, the daughter of a Spanish senator: "I was pretty gobsmacked when I first saw her... Her English was rubbish and my Spanish non-existent. So, we got by in French for a bit, but then I learned Spanish."

Clegg's European background, in politics as well as linguistics, and an ability to work through complex issues "will be invaluable" at Facebook, Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg wrote in a post on the platform. "Our company is on a critical journey. The challenges we face are serious and clear and now, more than ever, we need new perspectives to help us through this time of change."

Facebook has fallen 12 percent this year to $154.98 in New York trading as founder and Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg and other senior officials testified in repeated congressional hearings on efforts to fight misuse of its platform by foreign intelligence agencies like Russia's as well as claims of anti-conservative bias and attacks by hackers.

This fall, Facebook said cyber-thieves compromised 30 million accounts, compounding the scrutiny over a disclosure earlier this year that a consultant on President Trump's 2016 campaign improperly gained access to information on 87 million users.

Such issues, along with Google's admission that app developers are given access to Gmail accounts when users consent, has spurred increasing support for a federal privacy law that would give U.S. residents more control over their personal information.

While tech companies support the idea of uniform standards, they're keen to avoid some of the restrictions imposed in Europe, where the General Data Protection Regulation requires companies to use "clear and plain language" in requesting agreement from users for the processing of their data, along with an explanation of what the business plans to do with the information.

The regulation, which carries a maximum penalty of 4 percent of annual revenue or €20 million, whichever is greater, also requires businesses to notify users of a breach within three days and to erase that user's information entirely upon request.

Since it took effect, Facebook has faced heightened pressure from European Commissioner Vera Jourova to be "absolutely clear" with its 380 million European Users about how it operates and makes money.

"I will not hide that I am becoming rather impatient," she told reporters in September. "We have been in dialogue with Facebook for almost two years, and I really want to see, not progress — that's not enough for me — I want to see the results."

Jourová, who once had a Facebook account herself, closed it after an "influx of hatred" through posts. "It was the channel of dirt," she said.

Facebook gains an edge in navigating such rough political terrain with Clegg. Elected to the European Parliament in 1999, he joined the U.K. parliament in 2005 as a member of the Liberal Democrats.

Clegg went on to serve as deputy prime minister under a coalition government formed under David Cameron after the Tories failed to capture a majority. He fought a campaign to remove Britain from the European Union, which has hurt the country's economy, and opposed requiring foreigners to carry identification cards, according to the party's website.

Knighted this spring, Clegg is a thoughtful leader who "understands deeply the responsibilities we have to people who use our service around the world," Sandberg said. "If we can honor the trust they put in us and live up to our responsibilities, we can help more people use technology to do good. That’s what motivates our teams and from all my conversations with Nick, it’s clear that he believes in this as well."