Libra Hasn’t Tried to Clean Up Its Act
Libra first emerged last summer to mixed reception. Many users said they didn’t trust Facebook enough after the Cambridge Analytica scandal to give the company their financial data, and many politicians were concerned that Libra would potentially open the door to money laundering and other white-collar crime.
However, others see Libra as bad in different ways. David Rutter – CEO of R3, a company building its own blockchain – says that Libra was so “in your face” when it first arrived, that he’s surprised many of Facebook’s leaders don’t see why reception hasn’t been stronger.
In a recent interview, Rutter explains:
They way they rolled it out… It was just so in your face. There’s a real lack of understanding.
To an extent, Rutter’s words hold their weight. In truth, we really don’t know much about Libra. We don’t know how it will operate, we don’t know what it will be used for, and the plan – to this day – remains relatively secretive to many members of the public. Once Facebook gets our financial data, what will they do with it?
Facebook can’t be surprised if people aren’t willing to hand over their data without thinking. This was done once already, and it turned into a huge dilemma in which Mark Zuckerberg – the chief executive of the company – stood before a congressional committee last year to discuss why the company had been selling people’s private information for so long. The simple answer? Advertising purposes.
This data included birthdates and other private facts that some probably didn’t want traversing through company board meetings. However, Facebook seemingly made that decision for many of its users, and trust instantly fell following the big reveal.
Now, executives have the audacity to come forward and say, “Hey. Look, we’re sorry, but just hand over your financial data and we promise we’ll make things different.” Well, it doesn’t quite work that way. Time needs to pass before trust can be established further – a notion that really hasn’t been respected.
Fixing the Past
The idea that Libra could be introduced barely a year after the Cambridge scandal is rather ludicrous planning on Facebook’s part. To just come out and say that this is being built and there’s nothing anyone can do about it is not only arrogant – it also shows a terrible lack of knowledge regarding everyday users. Does Facebook really believe that so many people would forget about something so huge that happened relatively recently and just wipe the slate clean?
If Facebook really wants things to get better, it will put all plans for Libra on hold over the next few years and really take the time to clean up its previous messes.