The social network says it will behave better from now on. Promise
The scene is becoming familiar: a Facebook executive is hauled before Congress in Washington, dc; a public grilling ensues. At least on July 16th and 17th American lawmakers looked better prepared than they were a year ago when they displayed little idea of Facebook’s business during hearings over its failure to stop a rogue consultancy from harvesting data on 50m users without permission. This time David Marcus fielded mostly sensible questions about the social network’s nascent cryptocurrency project, Libra, which he heads. Would transaction data be mined for valuable spending patterns? How will Facebook make money from Libra, which is to be governed by an independent body based in Switzerland?
这一幕变得越来越熟悉：Facebook的一位高管被带到华盛顿特区的国会面前；公众的拷问随之而来 。至少在7月16日和7月17日，美国国会议员们看起来比一年前准备得更充分了，当时他们在听证会上对Facebook的业务几乎一无所知，原因是该公司未能阻止一家流氓咨询公司在未经许可的情况下收集5000万用户的数据 。这一次，大卫•马库斯回答了有关这家社交网络新兴加密货币项目Libra的大部分合理问题 。交易数据会被挖掘出有价值的消费模式吗？Facebook将如何利用天秤币赚钱？天秤币将由一个总部位于瑞士的独立机构管理 。
Mr Marcus offered reasonable answers. User consent will be required to mine transaction data; money will come from advertisers, happy to pay to gain access to consumers more willing to part with their money thanks to easier online payments. The big question on everybody’s mind was different, however: why on Earth would scandal-plagued Facebook launch a global financial instrument at all?
马库斯先生给出了合理的答案 。挖掘交易数据需征得用户同意；资金将来自广告客户，由于在线支付更加便捷，他们愿意付费，以获得更愿意掏钱的消费者 。然而，每个人心里都有一个大问题：丑闻缠身的Facebook究竟为什么要推出一种全球金融工具？
The query is all the more relevant in light of a decision days earlier by the Federal Trade Commission to fine the company $5bn for its recent misuse of user data. If approved by the Department of Justice, as looks likely, the penalty will be the largest that the American government has ever meted out to a technology company (the EU has been harsher).
就在几天前，美国联邦贸易委员会决定对该公司处以50亿美元罚款，原因是该公司最近滥用用户数据 。如果获得司法部的批准(看起来很有可能)，这将是美国政府对科技公司开出的最大罚单(欧盟的处罚更严厉) 。
Facebook seems eager to convince governments that, despite piles of evidence to the contrary, it can be trusted. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s boss, has called for more regulation of Big Tech, including his firm. On Capitol Hill Mr Marcus promised that Libra, and the division of Facebook which is meant to monetise it, Calibra, would not launch until the concerns of American lawmakers have been allayed. It now asks for permission rather than forgiveness, Mr Marcus appeared to be saying, not the other way around as in its youth.
Facebook似乎急于让政府相信，尽管有大量相反的证据，但其仍是可信的 。Facebook的老板马克·扎克伯格呼吁对包括他的公司在内的大型科技公司进行更多的监管 。在国会山，马库斯先生承诺，除非美国立法者的担忧得到缓解，否则天秤座和旨在将其货币化的Facebook部门Calibra将不会启动 。马库斯先生似乎在说，现在它要求的是许可而不是原谅，而不是像它年轻时那样反过来要求 。