Facebook Attracts Scrutiny from House Committee
Facebook’s Libra Network has got a lot of people excited, but not everyone shares this feeling.
Facebook Has Got Some People on the Edge
Recently, Live Bitcoin News reported that Facebook’s primary chief executive Mark Zuckerberg was grilled by Senate members regarding the aspects of Libra and the company’s ability to privatize its customers’ financial information. Some are still unconvinced that Facebook has a place in the financial space, one of whom is Rep. Maxine Waters.
As chair of the House Financial Services Committee, Waters recently made references to Facebook’s previous ties with Cambridge Analytica and stated:
With the announcement that it plans to create a cryptocurrency, Facebook is continuing its unchecked expansion and extending its reach into the lives of its users. The cryptocurrency market currently lacks a clear regulatory framework to provide strong protections for investors, consumers and the economy. Regulators should see this as a wake-up call to get serious about the privacy and national security concerns, cybersecurity risks, and trading risks that are posed by cryptocurrencies. Given the company’s troubled past, I am requesting that Facebook agree to a moratorium on any movement forward on developing a cryptocurrency until Congress and regulators can examine these issues and take necessary action. Facebook executives should also come before the Committee to provide testimony on these issues.
Maxine Waters has never been afraid to follow her own agenda, and sometimes that agenda can be rather extreme. As a Democrat, however, she is also garnering support from members not only within her own party, but from various Republicans as well.
In fact, Waters’ calling of the hearing was inspired by the requests of Rep. Patrick McHenry, the ranking Republican of the committee. Previously, McHenry had exclaimed:
While there is great promise for this new technology in fostering financial inclusion and faster payments, particularly in the developing world, we know there are many open questions as to the scope and scale of the project and how it will conform to our global financial regulatory framework. We need to go beyond the rumors and speculations and provide a forum to assess this project and its potential unprecedented impact on the financial system.
Fear Throughout Congress…
Senator Mark Warner, a Democrat, expressed the idea to his colleagues that Americans have ultimately lost trust in Facebook, and aren’t likely to just hand their financial data over on a whim. He explains:
The idea that we are going to turn over our financial data and information to that company, I think they have a big uphill effort to try to convince Americans that they ought to trust in Facebook’s proprietary interest in keeping your data secret.
What it comes down to is that while Facebook may have big things planned for the financial space, it is still tied to people’s memories of the Cambridge Analytica scandal last year.
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