Global privacy regulators yesterday joined forces to demand guarantees from Facebook Inc on how it will protect users’ financial data when it launches its planned cryptocurrency, Libra.
The watchdogs from Australia, the US, EU, Britain, Canada and other countries issued an open letter calling on Facebook to respond to more than a dozen concerns over how it will handle sensitive personal information of users of the digital currency.
The letter follows a chorus of warnings about Facebook’s entry into the shadowy world of digital banking, including at a meeting last month of G7 finance ministers and central bankers.
The watchdogs said that Facebook and its subsidiary Calibra “have failed to specifically address the information handling practices that will be in place to secure and protect personal information.”
Facebook’s handling of user data, highlighted by the Cambridge Analytica scandal, had “not met the expectations of regulators or their own users,” they said.
The social media giant’s latest project faced similar risks, they said, adding that the “combination of vast reserves of personal information with financial information and cryptocurrency amplifies our privacy concerns about the Libra Network’s design and data sharing arrangements.”
The regulators demanded Facebook provide guarantees that user information, such as transaction histories, would not be shared without explicit consent and that all personal data would be adequately secured by all parties in the Libra network.
Facebook announced the launch of Libra in June, with Calibra slated to run a digital wallet and provide financial services using blockchain technology.
The currency is to be overseen by a Geneva-based Libra Association of companies, and Swiss authorities have also pledged tight oversight of the operation.
Libra is widely regarded as a challenger to dominant global player bitcoin.
Expected to launch in the first half of next year, Libra is designed to be backed by a basket of currency assets to avoid the wild swings of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
POOR INTERNAL CONTROLS: Insurance Bureau Director-General Shih Chiung-hwa said the company is expected to get back on track while its chairman is suspended The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) yesterday fined Shin Kong Life Insurance Co (新光人壽) NT$27.6 million (US$939,415) for a reckless investment that endangered its solvency, and suspended its chairman Eugene Wu (吳東進) for poor supervision. The penalty is the second-highest in a single case after Nan Shan Life Insurance Co (南山人壽) was fined NT$30 million in September last year and its chairman Du Ying-tzyong (杜英宗) suspended for two years, the commission said. In three rounds of special and regular examinations conducted since last year, the commission found that Shin Kong Life had given too much power to an asset and liability management committee
Tesla Inc is planning to ship vehicles made at its Shanghai Gigafactory to other markets in Asia and Europe, people familiar with the matter said, as the company looks to realize its plan to reduce shipping costs and manufacture vehicles closer to customers. China-built Tesla Model 3s intended for delivery outside China would likely start mass production in the fourth quarter of the year, the people said, asking not to be identified because the details are private. They said the markets targeted include Singapore, Australia and New Zealand, as well as Europe, where customers currently have to wait for a Tesla to
Nano-X Imaging Ltd, a start-up founded by Israeli investor Ran Poliakine, is joining forces with South Korean chipmaker SK Hynix Inc to build a machine that could disrupt a century-old X-ray industry. Valued at about US$2 billion after listing on the NASDAQ last month, Nano-X is seeking to transform a multibillion-dollar industry that has essentially relied on the same technology since Nobel Prize in Physics winner Wilhelm Roentgen discovered X-rays in the late 19th century. Nano-X’s device uses semiconductors instead of metal filaments to generate X-rays. The backing of SK Hynix, the world’s second-largest maker of memory chips, is a boost for
Continental AG, which makes control units for Daimler AG cars, cannot pursue antitrust claims against a group of patent owners, including Qualcomm Inc, which are seeking royalties on telecommunications technology, a federal judge in Texas ruled. Avanci LLC, a licensing pool formed by Qualcomm, Nokia Oyj, Sharp Corp and other owners of patents on technology standards, is not breaching antitrust laws when it negotiates license agreements with automakers rather than the component makers, Barbara Lynn, chief district judge for the Northern District of Texas, said in dismissing the suit in a decision posted on Friday. The licensing group charges US$15 per vehicle