Libra is back to making headlines after a brief stint in the shadows following news that they may not launch if regulators don’t approve of the project. As per a Bloomberg report, August 18, 2019, a delegation of six bureaucrats, led by Rep. Maxine Waters, will discuss Libra with the Swiss Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner, Adrian Lobsiger.
Make or Break for Libra?
As the final stages of the regulatory drama finally play out, Facebook and the rest of the Libra consortium will finally get some clarity on what regulators think of the project.
Other than the concerns the government has publicly disclosed regarding Libra, there are most definitely aspects of the discussion that are unknown to most as of now.
Rep. Maxine Waters of the House Financial Committee, who openly called for Facebook to halt Libra, is leading the delegation in their consultation with the Swiss government. As the Libra Association is set up in Switzerland and regulated by domestic authorities, this move comes as no surprise. However, Facebook may be slightly disappointed that their fiercest critic is at the center of discussions.
David Marcus, head of Calibra, has assured regulators that Facebook will abstain from development and launch until regulators are satisfied. This assurance evidently meant very little to Congress as they decided to present a draft bill to ban big tech from banking.
Libra could be a major growth driver for financial inclusion and a digital version economy, but the public is still unsure of whether the benefits outweigh the negatives.
Data Monopoly Would Be Calamitous
Imagine the largest social media platform and personal data sales companies in the world now having access to your financial history. This is a near dystopian scenario that could spell disaster for users.
Facebook would become so incredibly centralized, a small vulnerability in their security system would lead to unfathomable amounts of sensitive personal information falling into the wrong hands.
Their history with data privacy seems to be the biggest concern for regulators and citizens alike. On the surface, the negatives far outweigh the positives, but there is a lot more to Libra that hasn’t been revealed yet; trying to form a coherent opinion at this stage is futile.