Not for the first time in recent memory, Facebook is being grilled by the US Government because of concerns that it and other tech giants are stifling competition. The social media giant’s recent announcement that it will soon be releasing a new cryptocurrency in partnership with other massive corporations has struck Congress the wrong way. The hearings developed as a means for lawmakers to get a better idea of Facebook’s practices. The congressional investigation is an essential point for the government’s final decision since it’s likely the digital currency that the consortium will produce is likely to have a significant impact on the country.
Past Privacy Violations and Data Leaks
Among the most significant concerns of the government officials involved in the hearing was Facebook’s poor track record when it comes to keeping the data of its users safe. Facebook has been notorious with data leaks, some of them happening as recent as earlier this year. To the company’s credit, they did own up to their poor history with user data but stressed that the cryptocurrency they plan to be a part of isn’t just Facebook’s technology. The social media giant is only one company of one hundred or so other enterprises that form the Libra Consortium.
Google, Apple, and Amazon All in the Crosshairs
While Facebook’s Libra might be one of the main driving factors for implementing the hearings, the house intends to be thorough, and no big tech companies will escape its questioning. On the 17th of July Google, Amazon, and Apple are all expected to send representatives to answer the government’s questions about their business practices. Of extreme importance is the impact that Google has had on American politics. Some lawmakers consider that the search giant may be ranking conservative bloggers and media lower than liberal ones to push their political agenda. The scrutiny of the search giant follows hot on the heels of the FTC fining Facebook $5 billion because of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. If Google is indeed skewing results from its search towards liberal commentators, then it may find itself facing similar fines.