Following a couple of weeks of outright lambasting by US lawmakers, Facebook’s Libra crypto project appears to be cracking at the seams before it even gets off the ground. A fresh round of regulatory pressure has piled on this week from concerned countries around the world.
Facebook Crypto Angst Escalates
In the two months following the social media giant’s announcement of its crypto ambitions to become effectively the world’s largest bank, the pressure against it has mounted. According to reports, data protection and privacy authorities in the US, UK, EU, Canada, and Australia have issued a joint statement sharing concerns about Facebook’s foray into digital assets.
In an announcement today, the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner and the UK Information Commissioner’s Office jointly called for more information from the web monopoly on how the Libra network will secure and protect personal information.
Australian Information and Privacy Commissioner, Angelene Falk, stated:
“This is an important step in a global regulatory movement that is holding online companies to account for how they handle personal information. Given the many initiatives taking place in our finance and technology sector, privacy must be a key component of any significant digital initiative such as Libra.”
The joint statement added that the company has failed to specifically address the information handling practices that will be in place to secure and protect personal information. The concerns are unsurprising considering the firm’s involvement in recent scandals involving data privacy and online security.
Facebook was slapped with a $5 billion fine by the Federal Trade Commission over the Cambridge Analytica imbroglio at about the same time it announced Libra so the timing was not great. Acknowledging this, the statement continued …
“Many of us in the regulatory community have had to address previous episodes where Facebook’s handling of people’s information has not met the expectations of regulators, or their own users.”
Before adding …
“Additionally, given the current plans for a rapid implementation of Libra and Calibra, we are surprised and concerned that this further detail is not yet available.”
Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg and project head David Marcus have yet to respond to this, the latest in an ever increasing cauldron of concern over the firm’s grand crypto and global finance ambitions. It is likely some back pedaling will need to be done before the proposed launch date next year comes around.
Several nations, including Facebook’s largest market – India, have already kyboshed the project before it has even arrived. China has banned the platform outright which means almost 40 percent of the world’s population in these two countries will not have access.
With mounting pressure from the rest of the planet, the future of Libra is looking very shaky indeed.
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