Libra’s Swiss detour: FDPIC claims to have not been contacted by ‘promoters of Libra’

  • 17 July 2019, Wednesday, 09:10

Despite David Marcus’s repeated assurances regarding Facebook’s keenness to cooperate with regulators of every country, the project failed to escape the latest grilling by the Senate Banking Committee. In fact, the hearing’s coup de grace was Senator Sherrod Brown saying, “Facebook is dangerous!”

However, troubles for Libra do not end at name-calling. Many senators still seem to believe that that the social media giant’s association with the stablecoin project would not be limited to just being an equal partner, like the other 28 founding members. Senators also highlighted Facebook’s history of addressing user privacy concerns badly.

While testifying before the US Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday, Marcus revealed that Switzerland’s Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner [FDPIC] will be charged with monitoring data and privacy protections for its new cryptocurrency, Libra. “You won’t have to trust Facebook,” Marcus, the spearhead of the project, said.

Marcus, on the hearing’s first day, had also stated that the Swiss Financial Markets Supervisory Authority [FINMA] would act as the main financial regulator for Libra, to which the regulatory body confirmed initiating talks with.

Surprisingly, Hugo Wyler, Head of Communications at the FDPIC, revealed that the “promoters of Libra” had not yet contacted them.

In a statement to CNBC, Wyler disclosed,

“We have taken note of the statements made by David Marcus, Chief of Calibra, on our potential role as data protection supervisory authority in the Libra context. Until today we have not been contacted by the promoters of Libra”

Wyler added,

“We expect Facebook or its promoters to provide us with concrete information when the time comes. Only then will we be able to examine the extent to which our legal advisory and supervisory competence is given. In any case, we are following the development of the project in the public debate”

A Facebook spokesperson later went on to confirm these reports.

A scenario like these evokes questions as to how well the project has been planned and who has the oversight of privacy and data monitoring, a controversial subject for Facebook since it does not have a clean record and still seems to be tangled in controversies.