Congressional lawmakers grilled a Facebook executive Tuesday about the social media giant's plans for a new worldwide cryptocurrency network, with some saying they didn't trust the technology after an ongoing fallout over their privacy practices.
The Senate Banking Committee held a hearing on Facebook's plans for Libra, a new digital financial system that it announced in June, among a broad interest in the company moving to the launch of the platform without the time for regulators and lawmakers to know it properly . The company stunned Washington last month when it said it hoped Libra would start as early as 2020 with a coalition of financial and technical partners and allow billions of Facebook users to send money to each other around the world with ease.
"Facebook is dangerous," Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), bank committee ranking member, said at the hearing . "The last thing we need is to concentrate even more power in big companies. Look at Facebook's record. We would be crazy to give them a chance to experiment with people's bank accounts and use powerful tools they don't understand, like monetary policy, to jeopardize hard-working Americans' ability to support their families. "
Sen. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) Was more blunt and simply said, "I don't trust you."
"Instead of cleaning up your house, you launch into a new business model, "said the legislator, pointing to what she called" repeated fraud "by Facebook. 19659002] Marcus repeatedly moved to place legislators and said that Libra would not be offered to the public until regulatory consideration was taken care of. He said Facebook was determined to "take the time to get it right".
"We've made mistakes in the past," he said. "We have worked and work hard to get better."
Last week, the Federal Trade Commission voted by voice down a fine of about $ 5 billion to Facebook over violations of integrity centered on Cambridge Analytics data protection. If approved by the Justice Department, the fine would be the largest ever charged against a technical company and would signal Washington's willingness to do its part to clear Silicon Valley giants.
But some legislators have lambasted the size of the fine, saying it would only be a lump on Facebook's wrist, making more than $ 15 billion in revenue in the first quarter of this year. The Democrats had urged the FTC to force Facebook to limit its ability to collect and share user data, but reports reported the $ 5 billion agreement did not include such provisions.
"Trump's FTC commissioners have rolled over the monopoly, voting 3-2 for a slap-on-the-wrist settlement with Facebook," Freedom From Facebook, an anti-Facebook coalition, said that after reports of the fines were made public. "The FTC continues to be unable to protect US consumers and markets and Congress needs to investigate the FTC's failure to act."
Despite the opposition during Tuesday's hearing, some legislators promised Facebook for their efforts to create a new financial system with an eye on underdeveloped countries that may not have formal banking systems. Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) Said it was too early to call Libra "very hasty" and urged lawmakers to investigate how Facebook's plan could be a "very constructive innovation".
"We should investigate this and in view of the benefits as well as the risks and take a cautious approach," Toomey says, according to Politico. "To announce in advance that we must crush this child in the crib is wildly early".  But the Washington Post reported Tuesday that Facebook had saved Libra for more than a dozen government officials, including those from the Treasury Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission, many of whom expressed even more concern after the meeting that Facebook was unprepared to address concerns about their past privacy practices and how it hopes to inoculate Libra against data issues in the future.
Real life. REAL NEWS.
! Help us tell you more about the stories that are heard by voices that are too often untouched.