June 18, 2019

BROWN: Financial Watchdogs Must Scrutinize Facebook Cryptocurrency Closely

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) – ranking member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs – released the following statement on Facebook unveiling details of its cryptocurrency Libra. This new cryptocurrency will give Facebook competitive advantages with regard to collecting data about financial transactions, as well as control over fees and functionality.
“Facebook is already too big and too powerful, and it has used that power to exploit users’ data without protecting their privacy. We cannot allow Facebook to run a risky new cryptocurrency out of a Swiss bank account without oversight. I’m calling on our financial watchdogs to scrutinize this closely to ensure users are protected,” said Brown.
On May 9th , Ranking Member Brown and Chairman Crapo sent a letter to Facebook requesting information about their privacy practices as well as cryptocurrency announcement. Facebook has not provided a written response to the letter. Sen. Brown has raised concerns in the past over technology companies getting involved in the business of banking, including opposing the OCC’s plan to create a special charter for financial technology companies that would provide them the benefits of a bank charter without requiring the strict regulations other banks face.