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Facebook to the U.S. Lawmakers: Libra Will Work With Policymakers and Respect Privacy

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by Janis Rijnieks · 3 min read
Facebook to the U.S. Lawmakers: Libra Will Work With Policymakers and Respect Privacy
David Marcus, Co-creator of Libra. Photo: Facebook

Facebook blockchain lead David Marcus sent a letter to U.S. lawmakers in which he addressed multiple questions asked by the government. Facebook says it will respect consumer privacy and is willing to work together with regulators.

David Marcus, the blockchain lead at Facebook, just recently published a letter where he answers to U.S. lawmakers’ questions which they sent out in May. He explains that Facebook along with Libra and Calibra, the native digital wallet solution for Libra, won’t store any personal user data on the Libra blockchain:

“Similar to existing and widespread cryptocurrencies such as ethereum and bitcoin, transactions that take place directly on the Libra Blockchain are ‘pseudonymous,’ meaning that the user’s identity is not publicly visible.”

Additionally, he said that any information regards KYC or AML data needs to be stored by the wallet providers. Moreover, he added that Libra will be an open-source platform in which any third-party developers will be able to build unique digital wallets.

“It will be the responsibility of these providers to determine the type of information they may require from their customers and to comply with regulations and standards in the countries in which they operate.”

He explained in the letter, however, adding:

“Regulators of Calibra and other digital wallet services can require them to collect information about the identity and activities of their users and make such information available to law enforcement and regulatory agencies, such as for AML, CFT [counter-financing of terrorism], and sanctions purposes.”

It Gets Interesting

Additionally, Facebook reveals that it as a structure of the Libra Association, won’t take part. They claim that Calibra will take that position in the association. It will be a separate, regulated subsidiary of Facebook. Calibra will be the one only safeguarding consumer financial data, however, further on in the letter he explains that Calibra will be maintaining some of the consumer financial data. It won’t share the financial data with third parties, only if the consumer agrees on that.

This fact could be interpreted similarly as the General Cookie Policy in most of the websites now. If the user agrees, he is welcomed in the platform, but in the case of disagreement, the user won’t be able to fully use the platform. Marcus assures that Calibra won’t use this data for ad targeting purposes. Of course, there are exceptions. These exceptions include law enforcement agencies and regulators.

“For example, Calibra customer account information and financial data will not be used to improve ad targeting on Facebook or across its family of social media and messaging products,” added Marcus.

Nevertheless, what Facebook representatives are saying, this all sounds very interesting and even too official or diplomatic. They are juggling with financial data storing terms and just as well it could be interpreted to anyone’s needs. But let’s wait for the soon-to-happen hearing in the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, where an official hearing will occur on July 16. David Marcus writes:

“The Libra Association will work with policymakers and regulators to make sure this new ecosystem is a value-add to economies, that consumers are protected, and that the role of government oversight and central banks is appropriate. The Association is fully committed to advancing the global dialogue on how blockchain and cryptoassets should be regulated.”

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