Published: Wed, August 07, 2019
Markets | By Otis Pena

Facebook hires former U.S. senator assistant to lobby for Libra

Facebook hires former U.S. senator assistant to lobby for Libra

The joint statement dated August 6 is signed off by Falk, Canada's Privacy Commissioner Daniel Therrien and Commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission Rohit Chopra, Information Commissioner for the United Kingdom Elizabeth Denham, the EU's European Data Protection Supervisor Giovanni Buttarelli, Albania's Information and Data Protection Commissioner Besnik Dervishi, and Burkina Faso's President of the Commission for Information Technology and Civil Liberties Marguerite Ouedraogo Bonane.

Facebook in June this year announced it would launch Calibra with the aim of developing a new digital wallet for Libra.

Angelene Falk, the Information Commissioner and Privacy Commissioner stated that the involvement of Facebook in Libra poses substantial risk, as the company has a very vast supply of personal information.

The regulators want to know that Libra will have "robust measures" to protect personal data, including transparency, adequate privacy protection tools and a minimal collection of info. "But that ambition must work in tandem with people's privacy expectations and rights".

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The concerns follow hard hitting revelations of data misuse in 2018, which had alleged inappropriate sharing of information from Facebook to the now-defunct Cambridge Analytica. We've asked Facebook for comment.

It also asks for assurances that only the minimum required data will be collected, that the service will be transparent, and requests details of how data will be shared between Libra Network members. "As much as Libra represents an opportunity for the world to make inroads on financial inclusion, we acknowledge the need to design an infrastructure that complies with global privacy requirements".

Facebook has been called upon by a group of data protection and privacy regulators to provide further information on its Libra project, asking how the social media giant plans to ensure it can secure and protect personal information.

"I hope this statement will prompt an open and constructive conversation to ensure that data protection is a key part of the design process and that data protection regulators are a key consultative group as the Libra proposals develop".

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