US congressman pushes bill to shield privacy in CBDCs

Minnesota Congressman reintroduces a bill targeting potential CBDC surveillance to uphold US citizens’ financial privacy rights against government monitoring.

Minnesota Congressman Tom Emmer reintroduced the CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act on Sept. 12. The bill aims to protect US citizens’ privacy rights from a potential Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).

The bill that has gained the support of 50 co-sponsors seeks to prevent the federal government from issuing a CBDC that would enable the authorities to monitor and track the financial activities of Americans.

Emmer stated that the Biden administration plans to compromise Americans’ financial privacy by introducing a CBDC allowing surveillance and control. He added that his bill is focused on safeguarding the rights of Americans to financial privacy.

CBDC and privacy challenges

CBDC is a digital form of money issued and backed by a central bank. Privacy is a vital aspect of CBDC that has raised significant attention and concern among users and regulators.

The privacy feature of CBDC addresses the growing worries about the use of consumer data by central banks and other entities. The central banks, such as the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), have stressed that they will not use CBDC to collect and sell user data commercially. The goal is to provide users with a secure and private digital payment option.

Central banks are actively working on resolving critical policy and technical issues related to CBDC to ensure privacy protection. For example, the HKMA has established a CBDC Expert Group comprising distinguished academics who offer their privacy protection and cybersecurity expertise. This collaborative approach involving government, industry, and academia aims to develop robust privacy measures for CBDC.

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