No Dialogue Between Libra and the Swiss Despite Facebook Claims

In the hearing before the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday, David Marcus, head of Facebook’s Libra, revealed that the data and privacy protections for its digital currency would come under the purview of the Swiss Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner (FDPIC).

However, the social media company is yet to approach the Swiss agency to discuss the details of the project, FDPIC confirmed to CNBC.

“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,” Hugo Wyler, head of communication at the FDPIC, told CNBC.

“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.”

Despite Marcus’ comments, Facebook also confirmed that it had not approached the FDPIC to discuss the regulatory needs.

Need to clarify regulators

Though the FDPIC will be responsible for regulating anything related to data and privacy, the Swiss Financial Markets Supervisory Authority (FINMA) will be the primary regulator of Libra. The financial watchdog confirmed that it is already in talks with the social media company.

In the July 16 hearing, Marcus was grilled by a panel of Senators over data privacy concerns and also pointed out the company’s numerous and serious data-related lapses in the past.

Another hearing of the company is pending for today in front of the House Financial Services Committee.

Meanwhile, lawmakers and leaders in the United States are also coming out to criticize cryptocurrencies and Facebook’s initiative to enter the sector. Most notable, US President Donald Trump tweeted criticizing Libra and demanded the company to obtain a banking license if it wants to provide financial services.

(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

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