US Senate Banking Committee Presses Facebook for Info on Crypto Project

The Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the United States Senate is seeking information on Facebook’s reported cryptocurrency project. The committee addressed its concerns to Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a letter on May 9.

In a series of questions, the Senate highlights certain aspects of consumer protection, asking Zuckerberg how the company plans to protect consumer financial information. The committee also asks Zuckerberg whether Facebook shares or sells consumer information with unaffiliated third parties.

The social media giant become embroiled in controversy last year, when it became the subject of several scandals surrounding user data privacy. In April 2018, Zuckerberg himself testified before Congress regarding the firm’s practices. Canadian legislators have also called on Zuckerberg to testify, after it was found that Facebook violated the country’s privacy laws.

The committee further asks whether Facebook has any information on individuals’ credit standing, credit capacity, creditworthiness or information that could affect their ability to secure credit.

Rumors of a “Facebook Coin” surfaced in December 2018 following a Bloomberg report, which stated that Facebook was making a token for use on WhatsApp for the remittances market in India.

In February, the New York Times reported that the token would be usable on multiple platforms, including Facebook itself and Instagram. Unnamed sources further stated that the token would likely be a stablecoin pegged to a fiat currency.

Facebook is reportedly seeking $1 billion in investments for the token project from major payment networks Visa and MasterCard.

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