It seems Facebook has got everyone in the U.S. Senate a little worried.
What Is Facebook’s Libra All About?
Recently, Facebook announced the development of its new “Libra” project. Live Bitcoin News reported on this just a few days ago. The project is a cryptocurrency payments platform that would allow consumers everywhere who have Facebook accounts to use the company’s ongoing cryptocurrency Facebook Coin to purchase goods and services not just through the social media company, but through other merchants that offer Facebook login pages.
This suggests many things: it suggests that Facebook recognizes cryptocurrency as a growing and mainstream asset class and doesn’t want to miss out on potential business or profit. The company has recently backtracked on its crypto ad ban, saying that many companies that once needed permission would be able to post crypto and blockchain-related ads without begging and pleading.
At the same time, it also suggests that Facebook is trying to branch out into multiple areas, and some argue that this is a bad thing. Facebook has clearly shown bigger plans for itself. It’s not content simply being a platform where people communicate with each other or find long lost friends. It’s also not happy simply producing a new cryptocurrency. Some might say that Facebook is trying to take over the world and build its power to the point that it becomes a private empire.
Recently, co-creator Chris Hughes – who left Facebook in the year 2007 – called for the government to step in and break up big tech companies. This includes Facebook, and he claims that Zuckerberg is becoming far too powerful for his own right. He comments:
We are a nation with a tradition of reining in monopolies, no matter how well-intentioned the leaders of these companies may be. Mark’s power is unprecedented and un-American. Until recently, WhatsApp and Instagram were administered as independent platforms inside the parent company, so that should make the process easier, but time is of the essence. Facebook is working quickly to integrate the three, which would make it harder for the FTC to split them up… I take responsibility for not sounding the alarm earlier.
Now, 2020 presidential candidates like Senator Elizabeth Warren are calling for government intervention with big tech companies, claiming they should be divided up to prevent the abuse of power.
How Can You Keep People Safe?
In the meantime, U.S. Senators like Mike Crapo and Sherrod Brown have sent an open letter to Mark Zuckerberg, asking that he share all pertinent information regarding project Libra with Senate members. Their reasoning is that Zuckerberg and Facebook cannot be trusted after having shared user information with banks and other third parties such as Cambridge Analytica.
Throughout the letter, the Senators ask what financial information Facebook would get regarding its users, and how it means to protect that data.