Facebook’s data security breach has sparked discussions on a ‘permission-based’ decentralised blockchain for social networks.
The recent data breach by Cambridge Analytica, a political consultancy that inappropriately obtained detailed information of over 50 million facebook profiles, has revealed how data can be exploited in the worst possible way.
Now tech CEO’s are directing their interest toward blockchain technology. Jeremy Epstein, a faculty member of the Blockchain Research Institute, poignantly said:
“Facebook just gave a gift to everybody that believes in decentralization”
The uproar against Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp and ultimately most of Zuckerberg’s companies, is that they are analysing every action you perform and then selling it to advertisers. Since they own and control the central database, users have no say on how their information is used.
The idea is that a ‘permission-based’ decentralised blockchain for social networks, not only protects privacy, but could also mean that instead of a corporate giant like Facebook earning billions of dollars in revenues from selling users data, these members of a decentralised network could share in the value equally themselves.
Facebook remains under intense investigation by government regulators, the media and it’s users. A former Cambridge Analytica employee, Christopher Wylie has inflamed the situation with further claims that data collected for academic purposes was actually used to target political ads by the Donald Trump campaign during the U.S. presidential election in 2016.
The inappropriate protection and misuse of people’s posts and opinions has provoked a #deletefacebook campaign supported by celebrities and ‘influencers’ such as Elon Musk. Surprisingly, even Brian Acton, an entrepreneur who made billions on his sale of WhatsApp to Facebook in 2014, has joined in the revolt against the social network.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has come under extreme scrutiny and was seen apologising on a live interview with CNN.
There are a variety of ways of using blockchain technology to relinquish the power from these data ‘powerhouses’, many of which are being researched and developed. No doubt, these huge corporations are already investing and buying up these new ‘disruptive’ kids on the block.
In the meantime, if you choose to delete your Facebook account, you may well find that keeping up with friends and family becomes a much more timely affair.