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Privacy commissioners from around the world raise concerns over Facebook Libra’s privacy risks

“We are joining together to express our shared concerns about the privacy risks posed by the Libra digital currency and infrastructure,” reads the joint statement (see below) issued by the privacy commissioners of the US, the UK, the EU, Australia, Canada, Albania, and Burkina Faso on August 5. The statement says that these privacy risks go beyond just financial privacy due to Facebook’s “expansive categories of data collection on hundreds of millions of users”. The joint statement adds that while Facebook and Calibra have made “broad” statements about privacy, they have failed to specifically address the information handling practices that will be in place to secure and protect personal information. Calibra’s blog post says that user data might be shared in “limited cases”, but doesn’t specify those cases. The commissioners have asked Facebook a set of questions around their data protection plans for Libra; some of the most important ones are: How can global data protection and privacy enforcement authorities be confident that the Libra Network has robust measures to protect the personal information of network users? How will the Libra Association ensure that all processors of data within the Libra Network are identified, and are compliant with their respective data protection obligations? Where data is shared amongst Libra Network members: what data elements will be involved? to what extent will it be de-identified, and what method will be used to achieve de-identification? how will Libra Network ensure that data is not re-identified, including by use of enforceable contractual commitments…

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