By Hidayat Sultanli
On Sep 12, 2020
Leaked comments from an internal Facebook meeting in July show CEO Mark Zuckerberg addressing regulatory and customer identification concerns voiced by employees over the social media giant’s new payment network, Libra.
In the closed-door staff meeting – held soon after Calibra chief David Marcus responded to lawmakers at hearings in the U.S. – Zuckerberg acknowledged that Libra has elicited large amounts of public criticism. However, he added, it’s been relatively straightforward behind closed doors.
“The public things, I think, tend to be a little more dramatic,” Zuckerberg said, according to The Verge, which published a transcript of the meeting on Tuesday. “But a bigger part of it is private engagement with regulators around the world, and those, I think, often are more substantive and less dramatic.”
With illicit uses of Libra at the top of watchdogs’ concerns, he moved on to talk about know-your-customer (KYC) verification for the new payment network, saying Calibra – the subsidiary developing a wallet app for Libra – and the Libra Association will have to do more to prove users’ identities.
“We already focus a lot on real identity, across especially Facebook, so there’s even more that we need to do in order to have this kind of a product.”
Echoing Libra co-creator David Marcus before Congress earlier the same month, Zuckerberg said money laundering and terrorism remain top issues to address. “There’s a lot of important issues that need to be dealt with in preventing money laundering, preventing the financing of terrorists and people who the different governments say you can’t do business with,” he said.
Perhaps indicating a change of stance after PR disasters like the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Zuckerberg said the company will be taking a more open approach to new initiatives.
“But part of what we’re trying to do overall on these big projects now that touch very socially important aspects of society has a more consultative approach,” he concluded.