Privacy watchdogs question Libra’s ability to protect user data
Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency project continues to raise concerns among regulators and authorities around the world.
Data privacy regulators from several countries, including the UK, recently published a joint statement, expressing their worries about the project and Facebook’s ability to protect user privacy.
“As representatives of the global community of data protection and privacy enforcement authorities, collectively responsible for promoting the privacy of many millions of people around the world, we are joining together to express our shared concerns about the privacy risks posed by the Libra digital currency and infrastructure,” the statement, which was signed by information and data privacy commissioners from the UK, the EU, the US, Australia, Canada, Burkina Faso and Albania, reads. The regulators noted that because of Facebook’s expansive data collection on “hundreds of millions of users”, the privacy risks were not limited to only financial privacy.
Facebook’s newly-launched blockchain subsidiary Calibra is only one of the founding members of the Libra Association, the consortium governing the cryptocurrency project and its ecosystem. However, according to the regulators, Facebook’s involvement “has the potential to drive rapid uptake by consumers around the globe, including in countries which may not yet have data protection laws in place”. Arguing that Facebook and Calibra had so far failed to address “the information handling practices that will be in place to secure and protect personal information”, the watchdogs called for a more detailed explanation of the social media giant’s plan.
The privacy regulators raised a number of questions regarding how the Libra Association plans to ensure that personal user data shared on the network is protected and urged all organisation involved in the project to comply with relevant data protection and privacy laws. The Libra Association is comprised of 28 founding members, including major companies such as Visa, Mastercard, Uber Technologies and Vodafone Group.
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