Facebook’s Libra Faces a Strong Negative Reaction by Legislators

Facebook’s Libra Faces a Strong Negative Reaction by Legislators

June 20, 2019

The much-talked Libra coin is already facing political backlash, thanks to Facebook’s repeated and ongoing violations of ethical obligations and user trust. One of the lawmakers in the US has urged the company to suspend its plan to implement its native cryptocurrency until the Congress has the opportunity to determine whether there are any potential risks associated with it, according to a report published by The Verge on June 18.

In a move that could potentially shake up the old guard and disrupt the finance industry, social media behemoth Facebook announced ambitious plans on Tuesday to roll out a new global stablecoin dubbed Libra. The currency will be tied to dozens of established government-backed currencies and securities. The company said it has linked with 28 partners to form Libra Association – a consortium of companies who will actually handle the work of overseeing the currency.

Politicians call for careful oversight of Libra

Shortly after Facebook’s announcement, however, a section of US lawmakers was quick to raise a red flag on the upcoming currency. Congresswoman Maxine Waters called on the digital conglomerate to hold its horses until regulators and lawmakers have reviewed the project. Her statement reads:

“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.”

Senator Sherrod Brown also expressed his own concerns. He said in a statement:

“Facebook is already too big and too powerful, and it has used that power to exploit users’ data without protecting their privacy. We cannot allow Facebook to run a risky new cryptocurrency out of a Swiss bank account without oversight. I’m calling on our financial watchdogs to scrutinize this closely to ensure users are protected.”

Facebook has tough questions to answer about its plans to run risky new cryptocurrency out of a Swiss bank account — and we’re demanding answers with this hearing. pic.twitter.com/Yd9YlRhXO3

— Sherrod Brown (@SenSherrodBrown) June 19, 2019

Facebook has faced mounting criticism in recent months. It has been embroiled in a series of scandals over how it handles users’ personal data. Also, since the lead up to the last US presidential election, the platform has been inundated with fake news and become a haven for harassment and bullying.

Featured image from Flickr.

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