Information Commissioner’s Office joins international signatories in raising Libra data protection concerns

The ICO has joined data protection authorities from around the world in calling for more openness about Facebook’s proposed Libra digital currency and infrastructure.

The ICO explains that a statement to Facebook and 28 other companies behind the project asks them to provide details of how customers’ personal data will be processed in line with data protection laws. It asks for assurances that only the minimum required data will be collected, that the service will be transparent, and requests details of how data will be shared between Libra Network members.

The statement is signed by a cross section of authorities representing millions of people in Europe, the Americas, Africa and Australasia. These include the UK’s Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham and her counterparts in Australia, the USA, Canada, Burkina Faso and Albania, as well as the EU’s European Data Protection Supervisor.

Ms Denham said: “… Facebook’s involvement is particularly significant, as there is the potential to combine Facebook’s vast reserves of personal information with financial information and cryptocurrency, amplifying privacy concerns about the network’s design and data sharing arrangements”.

Ms Denham also said that the ICO is “concerned that there is little detail available about the information handling practices that will be in place to secure and protect personal information”. Ms Denham wants “an open and constructive conversation to ensure that data protection is a key part of the design process and that data protection regulators are a key consultative group as the Libra proposals develop”. To read the ICO’s press release in full and for a link to the statement to Facebook, click here.