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Facebook Not to Launch Libra Until Regulators are Fully Satisfied

Facebook has reportedly reached a whopping $5 billion settlement with the US FTC in the Cambridge Analytica privacy violations

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FILE - Attendees walk past a Facebook logo during Facebook Inc's F8 developers conference in San Jose, California, United States. VOA

Facebook is not going to launch its digital coin Libra unless regulators are fully satisfied and all necessary approvals are in place.

Under Facebook subsidiary Calibra, the social networking giant has planned to introduce a digital wallet for Libra. The wallet will be available on Messenger, WhatsApp and as a standalone app and is expected to be launched in 2020.

According to David Marcus, Head of Calibra who is set to face Senate Banking Committee over Libra concerns on Tuesday, US and state regulators will be involved when it comes to regulating services that offer Libra, reports The Verge.

Facebook is treating Libra as a “payment tool, not an investment”.

States would montior Calibra as a money transmitter, with the US Federal Trade Commission overseeing consumer protections, said Marcus.

“The Libra Association won’t keep personal data beyond basic transaction info and Facebook won’t share Calibra wallet info with the rest of the company,” Engadget quoted Marcus as saying.

US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell has raised “serious concern” over Libra.

Facebook, Libra, Bitcoin
Bitcoin, which has risen in value for eight consecutive days, received a boost after Facebook has said it would offer its own cryptocurrency, the Libra coin by end of June 2020. Pixabay

Testifying before the House Financial Services Committee last week, Powell raised serious objections on Facebook cryptocurrency slated to arrive in 2020.

“I just think it cannot go forward without there being broad satisfaction with the way the company has addressed money laundering and other issues,” Powell told the House Financial Services Committee.

“Libra raises many serious concerns regarding privacy, money laundering, consumer protection and financial stability,” Powell added.

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In a letter sent to Facebook executives, US lawmakers have officially asked the social networking giant to cease all development of its Libra cryptocurrency.

Facebook has reportedly reached a whopping $5 billion settlement with the US FTC in the Cambridge Analytica privacy violations.

The report of the $5 billion settlement, the largest ever by the FTC against a tech company over privacy issues after a $22.5 million settlement with Google in 2012. (IANS)

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Social Media Giant Facebook Requires ‘Significant Work’ to Stop Political Bias

“We don’t allow content that might encourage offline harm or is intended to intimidate, exclude or silence people,” he added

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FILE - The logo for Facebook appears on screens at the Nasdaq MarketSite, in New York's Times Square, March 29, 2018. VOA

Facebook has released results of an independent internal audit conducted by a former Republican senator that found the social networking giant has been biased against conservatives and needs to do “significant work” to stop this.

Former Senator Jon Kyl, a respected Republican and his team at the law firm Covington and Burling met with more than 130 leading conservative politicians and organizations and produced the report.

Facebook has long been accused of bias against conservative viewpoints to appear on its platform

“Although these concerns appear across the political and ideological spectrum, members of the conservative community in particular are concerned that the Silicon Valley-based company’s admittedly liberal culture negatively influences the reach of conservative ideas and news.”

“Political conservatives, religious traditionalists, and others are increasingly feeling marginalised by cultural ‘gatekeepers’ such as social media, entertainment media, and academia,” the report said.

According to Nick Clegg, Vice President of Global Affairs and Communications at Facebook, the report also highlights the changes Facebook has made to address some of those concerns.

facebook, instant games
FILE – Attendees walk past a Facebook logo during Facebook Inc’s F8 developers conference in San Jose, California, United States. VOA

“These include making our decisions more transparent by providing more information on why people are seeing specific posts on News Feed; ensuring Page managers can see when enforcement action takes place; launching an appeals process; and creating a new Oversight Board for content,” Clegg said in a statement late Tuesday.

This is the first stage of an ongoing process and Senator Kyl and his team will report again in a few months’ time.

“Facebook’s policies and their application have the potential to restrict free expression. Given the platform’s popularity and ubiquity, this is a danger that must be taken very seriously. Facebook insists that it is committed to safety, equal treatment and building community,” read the report.

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“Facebook has recognized the importance of our assessment and has taken some steps to address the concerns we uncovered. But there is still significant work to be done to satisfy the concerns we heard from conservatives,” it added.

Clegg said that “while we err on the side of free speech, there are critical exceptions”.

“We don’t allow content that might encourage offline harm or is intended to intimidate, exclude or silence people,” he added. (IANS)