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International data protection and privacy enforcement authorities seek clarity on Facebook’s Libra

Tue, 06 Aug 2019, 11:15 am UTC

Representatives from a number of data protection and privacy enforcement authorities from around the world have issued a joint statement on global privacy expectations of the Libra network.

Signatories include Besnik Dervishi, Information and Data Protection Commissioner, Albania; Angelene Falk, Australian Information and Privacy Commissioner; Daniel Therrien, Privacy Commissioner, Canada; Marguerite Ouedraogo Bonane, President of the Commission for Information Technology and Civil Liberties, Burkina Faso; Giovanni Buttarelli, European Data Protection Supervisor; Elizabeth Denham CBE, Information Commissioner United Kingdom; and Rohit Chopra Commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission U.S.

The letter is addressed to Facebook and 28 other companies behind the Libra project and asks them to provide details of how they plan to process customers’ personal data in line with data protection laws.

“To date, while Facebook and Calibra have made broad public statements about privacy, they have failed to specifically address the information handling practices that will be in place to secure and protect personal information,” the statement reads.

The authorities ask for assurances from the companies that only the minimum required data will be collected, that the service will be transparent. They also seek details as to how data will be shared between members of the Libra Network.

In all, the letter lists six broad questions largely related to data protection and privacy issues. The authorities also said that they may individually follow up with Libra with more specific questions as the proposals and service offering develops.

“The ambition and scope of the Libra project has the potential to change the online payment landscape, and to offer benefits to consumers. But that ambition must work in tandem with people’s privacy expectations and rights,” Denham said.

“We know that the Libra Network has already opened dialogue with many financial regulators on how it intends to comply with financial services product rules. However, given the rapid plans for Libra and Calibra, we are concerned that there is little detail available about the information handling practices that will be in place to secure and protect personal information.”

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