UK Information Commissioner Has Concerns About Facebook’s “Cryptocurrency” Project

The UK information commissioner has expressed concerns over Facebook’s cryptocurrency-like project, Libra. Elizabeth Denham says that the San Francisco-based firm has not provided enough detail about how it will keep personal information safe.
The British privacy regulators are the latest on an increasingly long list of agencies from around the world that have taken issue with the Libra project. The recently-detailed digital currency has also brought the decentralised, “true” cryptocurrency to the attention of the planet’s lawmakers and regulators.
Facebook’s Libra “Cryptocurrency” Met With Yet More Concern
According to a report in UK news publication City AM, Elizabeth Denham, the UK information commissioner, is the latest on a growing list of names of regulators and lawmakers expressing concern about Facebook’s “cryptocurrency” plans. She stated that the social media company had not provided sufficient detail about how it will ensure privacy of its users is protected.
“There is the potential to combine Facebook’s vast reserves of personal information with financial information and cryptocurrency, amplifying privacy concerns about the network’s design and data sharing arrangements.”
The privacy regulators also raised the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal as cause for concern about the firm’s ability to protect the data of its users:
“Facebook’s handling of people’s information has not met the expectations of regulators, or their own users.”
Facebook first detailed its cryptocurrency-like project in June. Since then, it has met all kinds of opposition from lawmakers and regulators around the world. French finance minister Bruno Le Maire commented in July that the project might jeopardise the sovereignty of nations because, traditionally, monetary policy is handled by government.
Without doubt, the most high profile of those expressing distaste for Facebook’s financial ambitions is President Trump. In a now-famous Tweet, the US premier stated that he did not much care for cryptocurrency and that Facebook would need to apply for all the necessary licences a bank would if they were serious about Libra.

….Similarly, Facebook Libra’s “virtual currency” will have little standing or dependability. If Facebook and other companies want to become a bank, they must seek a new Banking Charter and become subject to all Banking Regulations, just like other Banks, both National…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 12, 2019

He added that the San Francisco firm’s cryptocurrency-like project would never offer serious competition for the US dollar:

“We have only one real currency in the USA, and it is stronger than ever, both dependable and reliable. It is by far the most dominant currency anywhere in the World, and it will always stay that way. It is called the United States Dollar!”

The regulatory backlash that Facebook has experienced since detailing Libra has forced the firm to admit that the 2020 launch date mentioned in June might now be a little optimistic. In fact, Facebook went as far as to say that the project might never launch at all in a quarterly report to the US Securities and Exchange Commission last month.

Related Reading: Facebook’s “Cryptocurrency” Doesn’t Look Like It’s Winning Over the Public…
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