Could Blockchain Have Prevented Facebook’s Data Drain?
March 20, 2018
Facebook is in a frenzy this week.
Users are deleting their accounts in droves after learning Cambridge Analytica harvested data that potentially influenced President Trump’s 2016 campaign and the Brexit referendum.
It’s estimated that over 50 million user accounts were compromised, spurring a #DeleteFacebook movement on Twitter, and a 6% downswing on Facebook’s valuation in 24 hours.
The European Union, Australian Privacy Commissioner, and even the Massachusetts Attorney General are investigating Facebook after their recent data abuse.
Facebook isn’t the first company to leak personal data, nor will it be the last.Uber, Equifax, J.P. Morgan, and hundreds of other companies have all been accused of similar.
Each shares a common symptom, one that is solved with blockchain: centralization.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg knows blockchain fixes this issue, saying as much during his New Year mission statement:
“There are important counter-trends to this — encryption and cryptocurrency — that take power from centralized systems and put it back into people’s hands.”
The problem with centralized networks, especially for social media platforms, is that people become products.
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram don’t profit from subscriptions, but from advertising.
Companies highly value user data, as it informs their marketing. They’re willing to pay a high price, one that is hard for businesses like Facebook to turn down.
When people think of being hacked, they think of someone stealing their banking information or hijacking their webcam feed. Our online habits are just as valuable.
With blockchain, data is held locally, rather than everyone’s information being placed in a cloud, where it can be accessed in its entirety
Many are already making moves in this field.
Steem is one of the world’s busiest blockchains. It decentralizes everyone’s information so it can’t be compromised or sold, and it pays users when they engage with content.
It incentivizes users to provide that information, a momentous shift in the advertising world.
Blockchain has profoundly impacted multiple industries, providing a verifiable and secure way to store data, transfer assets and more.
As Facebook grows, what’s at stake increases, including user data and consumer tendencies. More information means more value, making Facebook a prime target for cyber attacks.
Facebook’s data abuse may be headline news, but they aren’t alone. Countless corporations are mining user data and selling it to the highest bidder. Sadly, it’s a lucrative business.
Blockchain is the future. The faster corporations apply it, the less painful these leaks will be.