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Facebook's Problems Could Help Blockchain Growth

Facebook's Problems Could Help Blockchain Growth 101
Mark Zuckerberg. Cofounder and CEO of Facebook. Source: iStock/FLDphotos

After The New York Times and the Guardian's Observer reported Saturday that political data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica improperly gained access to personal data of more than 50 million Facebook users, many other privacy issues with Facebook came out.

Mitch Steves, analyst at RBC Capital Markets, said to CNBC that this fallout could be good news for blockchain as a technology: “Instead [of giving a photo to Facebook], 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.”

Although tracking is definitely possible with blockchain technology, the prevention of misuse in the first place is not. “Blockchain would solve the transparency issue, but it would not solve the control issue you have,” Steves said.

Although Facebook had known about the privacy issue since 2015, users had not been alerted. CEO Mark Zuckerberg only spoke out on Wednesday, days after the fiasco, that they “have a responsibility to protect your data.”

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In January, the CEO said he's interested "to go deeper and study the positive and negative aspects" of decentralized technologies such as blockchain and how "best to use them in our services".

This implementation of blockchain technology may be closer than we think. According to Bloomberg, another tech giant Google is already working on its own blockchain-related technology, citing sources familiar with the matter. A Google spokesperson said, “Like many new technologies, we have individuals in various teams exploring potential uses of blockchain but it’s way too early for us to speculate about any possible uses or plans.”

The amount of possibilities that blockchain offers to already established tech giants could work both in favor of them and their customers. Their users would have their data protected and traceable in new ways, and they would head off competition from emerging startups that already use the technology in new ways.

While there seems to be little hope of escaping Facebook power and influence at this precise moment in history, a number of new social networks have been emerging recently that just might possibly begin the slow process of reducing it down to size, as reported by Cryptonews.com.

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