The impacts of Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal continues today with a potential fine from the Federal Trade Commission. So, it’s not surprising that the platform is beginning to take data protection more seriously.
In an interview with Harvard Law School Professor Jonathan Zittrain, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he’s “potentially interested” in utilizing blockchain for Facebook login. Blockchains are lists of records, or blocks, all linked by cryptography.
Zuckerberg described blockchain identity as, “You basically take your information, you store it on some decentralized system, and you have the choice of whether to log in in different places, and you’re not going through an intermediary.”
Zuckerberg said he hasn’t found a way to incorporate the method which was originally used for bitcoin just yet. However, Facebook created a blockchain team last May led by David Marcus, the former VP of Messenger. At the beginning of February, Facebook quietly acquired Chainspace, a blockchain firm working on smart contracts.
Zuckerberg himself noted that, although a blockchain system would “empower individuals on the one hand,” it also “really raises the strikes.”
Facebook has big problems when it comes to data-sharing. Recently, reports found Facebook let companies like Netflix, Spotify, and Amazon access private data long after they should have stopped. With a blockchain system, Forbes noted that in case of another massive breach like Cambridge Analytica, “third-party apps violating privacy could still run freely.”
“In a fully distributed system, there’d be nobody who could cut off their access,” Zuckerberg said. “It’s a lot easier to hold accountable large companies like Facebook or Google rather than a series of third-party apps. You’d also have more cases of abuse, and the recourse would be much harder.”