The recent Facebook fallout spells bad news for the social media giant. It also highlights the importance of blockchain technology in protecting individuals’ data.
In Your Face, Behind Your Back
The New York Times and The Guardian’s Observer reported on Saturday that Cambridge Analytica — a political data analytics firm — improperly gained access to more than 50 million Facebook users’ personal data. The social media company did not inform affected users, despite being fully aware of the issue since 2015.
In addition to causing significant damage to Facebook’s stock, the news has served to highlight the positive potential behind blockchain technology in protecting users’ data. RBC Capital Markets analyst Mitch Steves told CNBC’s Fast Money:
In the future, someone like yourself no longer has to give their photos to Facebook. 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, blockchain technology isn’t quite a be-all-end-all godsend when it comes to ownership of information on social media platforms like Facebook — as companies loathe to give up control. Noted Steves:
Blockchain would solve the transparency issue, but it would not solve the control issue you have.
Still, individuals like Susan Och, a senior fellow at the nonpartisan New America think tank, agree that Facebook’s latest slip-up shows why decentralization is so important in today’s society. Said Och on Wednesday’s Closing Bell:
Big tech and the centralized control isn’t working. This is why distributed ledger technology is taking off.
A $10 Trillion Industry
Steves is notably bullish when it comes to cryptocurrencies and their underlying blockchain technology.
In early January, the RBC Capital Markets analyst told CNBC that blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies are a $10 trillion market. Said Steves:
By utilizing decentralized computing and open-source software, we see a multi-trillion dollar market emerging.
His prediction comes from taking one-third the estimated $30 trillion in assets from offshore funds and gold.
What do you think about Facebook’s latest data leak? Do you think this event highlights the importance of blockchain technology? Let us know in the comments below!
Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, Adobestock, and Bitcoinist archives.