Facebook's Privacy Scandal Could Bolster Blockchain – RBC Analyst
Mitch Steves, analyst at RBC Capital Markets, said the Facebook fallout could be good news for blockchain technology.
On Saturday, The New York Times reported that political data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica improperly gained access to more than 50 million Facebook users’ personal data. Facebook did not inform affected users, despite being fully aware of the issue since 2015.
Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, spoke out on Wednesday for the first time since the news broke. In a Facebook post he wrote, “We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can’t then we don’t deserve to serve you.” But the stock of Facebook tumbled considerably this week.
In an interview with CNBC, RBC analyst Steves said bockchain could be a solution to the battle social media users face over misuse of personal data and content.
“In the future, someone like yourself no longer has to give their photos to Facebook,” Steves said. “Instead, you could just share that photo specifically with people, and then you’d be able to track it and make sure it’s not shared with someone who gets access to your information. You can 100 percent track all this stuff. I think that’s where we’re going long term.”
However, Steves said that as much as the technology offers transparency, it would not solve the control issue, failing to prevent misuse in the first place. “Blockchain would solve the transparency issue, but it would not solve the control issue you have,” he said.
Susan Och, a senior fellow at the nonpartisan New America think tank, agree that the Facebook privacy scandal shows why decentralization is so important in today’s society.
“Big tech and the centralized control isn’t working,” said Och. “This is why distributed ledger technology is taking off.”
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