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In a public interview with Harvard Law professor Jonathan Zittrain late on Wednesday shared on Facebook, the founder and CEO of the Facebook Mark Zuckerberg said he is “potentially interested” in employing blockchain technology for the social network’s login.
The risk of the data sharing scandals i.e. Cambridge Analytica that led to Zuckerberg having to go up against a congressional hearing, is one of the prime reasons that Zuckerberg is contemplating to fuse blockchain with Facebook login followed by granting the users the power to have complete control over whom they share their personal data with.
Zuckerberg told Zittrain:
“I’m thinking about going back to decentralized or blockchain authentication. Although I haven’t figured out a way to make this work out but this is around authentication and basically granting access to your information and to different services.”
Facebook has been exploring the ways to integrate blockchain technology with Facebook login for a while. Earlier in May, the social networking giant has also formed a blockchain team within the company, led by the former Vice president of Facebook Messenger, with the aim of discovering the best ways to leverage blockchain technology as part of its login and data-sharing system.
In December 2018, there had been stories hovering around the world that Facebook would launch their own stablecoin cryptocurrency. However, this is the first official statement from Zuckerberg that indicates Facebook’s interest in blockchain technology and its implementation to see how it can decentralize the internet.
In the interview, Zuckerberg said that authentication is one of the many use cases of blockchain technology that he is potentially interested in. However, he has not found the best ways to fully figure this out. Like many other tech companies, Facebook is still also discovering ways to leverage the potential of blockchain technology. Zuckerberg said:
“You basically take your information, you store it on some decentralized system and you have the choice of whether to log in different places and you’re not going through an intermediary. There’s a lot of things that I think would be quite attractive about that.”
He further explained that blockchain is a two-sided coin that comes with advantages as well as disadvantages. Explaining the disadvantage of decentralizing Facebook’s access Zuckerberg said that they would not be able to cut off the third-party like Cambridge Analytic that had violated the users’ privacy in the previous data breach.
“In a fully distributed system, there’d be nobody who could cut off their access. A fully distributed system empowers individuals on the one hand but it really raises the stakes,” says Zuckerberg. He noted that “it’s a lot easier to hold accountable large companies like Facebook or Google” than a series of third-party apps. “You’d also have more cases of abuse and the recourse would be much harder.”