The G7 is concerned about economic stability and they see Facebook as a threat. This highlights the need for the IT industry to provide self-governance that world governments can trust to be ethical.
Last year the G7 discussed AI issues and there has been an ongoing concern with cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. On top of this Facebook privacy issues like Cambridge Analytica have already caused worldwide focus. Now the Libra currency that Facebook has in its latest plans are ringing alarm bells on a new level because it could affect national currencies and thus world economic stability.
In June 2019 France formed a task force within the Group of Seven (G7) nations to examine the issues. Also, the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs would hold a hearing on July 16 regarding Libra. An ethics organization called Novethic is following cryptocurrencies as part of its sustainable finance efforts. It says:
Facebook’s Libra currency is different from other cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, which is based on a public blockchain, in its intention to become a “stable coin”. To avoid volatility in Bitcoin prices, Libra should be based on a basket of real-world currencies, such as the euro or the dollar. Once again, regulators are worried. What would be the risk to these currencies? How will this basket be composed?
This new level where virtual currencies could have major impact on the world economy requires experts from the computer world to ensure the systems do the right thing. We have evolved systems that introduce new paradigms much faster than we have evolved formal ethics and social constructs that will protect the public. For the Facebook systems to do the right thing they need all of us – especially computer and information technology folks – to help identify possible impacts of this proposal and participate in the discussions about how to ensure good ethical outcomes from the changes to come.
There is little in the media regarding what the 2019 G7 members thought of their task force findings. What we do know is that they made economic stability a theme for discussion.