Facebook’s officer responsible for the development of the Calibra digital wallet, David Marcus, addressed a letter to the Senate Banking Committee on Monday. A similar document was sent to the House Financial Services Committee of the United States. The company was trying to answer some of the key issues that were raised in May. In his diplomatic corresponding to one of the Senate’s highest legislative bodies, Marcus made the assertion that Facebook will continue to develop Libre by following all the existing regulations and user privacy laws.
David Marcus gives a personal conviction that Facebook will do everything right this time
As it is known, the social network leader previously had problems with privacy scandals. David Marcus explained in his letter that he understood the concern, but that in this case, Facebook would not have access to personal financial information.
Also, in a letter sent to the Committee, David Marcus said – the transactions placed on the Libra blockchain will not have anything to do with the personal financial information of the users. He further explains that, similarly to existing and accepted cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum, transactions that will take place directly on Libra Blockchain are “pseudonymous.”
The identity of the users is not publicly visible, Marcus wrote, reiterating Facebook’s promise given when Libre was presented last month.
Blockchain addresses in the transaction, timestamp and transaction volume will be public, but any information about a client (KIC) or anti-money laundering (AML) should be saved by the wallet provider.
Calibra Wallet can request identity data
David Marcus also noted that Libra will function on the open-source platform principle and that every third developer will be able to create a digital wallet here. In that case, they would be solely responsible for the construction of their Libra wallets, and it is the responsibility of these providers to determine the kind of information that might be necessary from their clients but under the regulations and standards in the countries in which they operate.
The Calibre Wallet and other similar services may require specific information about the identity and activities of their users. At the same time, such information can be made available to law enforcement and regulatory agencies.
One of the questions asked at the outset was what specific financial information about Facebook users already exists. To respond to it, David Marcus wrote that a branch of the social giant, Facebook Payments, which is not Libra-related, is storing data about personal non-public financial information, such as credentials for payment. However, he underlines that the storage of these data is following the existing rules of transactions and that these data are not used for advertising or for similar purposes.
Calibra as a separate affiliate of Facebook and further possibilities to use personal data
Facebook’s Governing Council, the Libra Association that will be dealing with the Libra Blockchain operations, will have even less information than the Facebook Payments.
According to David Marcus, the company has opened a branch to develop an open-source wallet for Libra, called Calibra.
Calibra will be a Facebook representative in the Association and will operate as a separate, regulated affiliate of the company. Its task will be to protect the financial information of consumers and will not use or share these data to target ads. Nevertheless, David Marcus says that a custodian wallet can keep some financial information about consumers.
The letter also lists cases considered to be exceptions, as data for the purposes of AML or CFT, to law enforcement agencies or regulatory bodies, or information by the sanctions law. User account information, as well as client financial information, will not be used to advertise on Facebook or other social networks.
Last month, Facebook launched a detailed plan to create a comprehensive payment system targeting individuals without banking. Such an idea has lead to regulatory and legislative moves. Officials around the world are questioning the project, if not directly calling for a moratorium on development.
The US Senate Banking Committee has scheduled a hearing for the 16 of July, while the Financial Services Committee will hold the next day. David Marcus will have the opportunity to testify at both hearings.
He has already explained in his letter that Facebook addresses all financial institutions, regulators, central banks, legislative bodies, ministries, and other government and business entities in order to give assurances that the Libra Association will work under regulations and that consumer data is absolutely protected as part of the new crypto project of social giants Facebook.