The CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg has been displaying interest in blockchain technology since 2017. Recently, he talked about the potential of blockchain technology in securing log in to services online. Zuckerberg said this during an interview with Harvard Law professor Jonathan Zittrain. He said that this technology can potentially replace third-party systems like Facebook Connect. In his words:
“Using blockchain is something I’ve been thinking about. However, I have not figured out how we can make it work. We need to work things out around authentication and access to information to different services. So, we can replace Facebook Connect with something entirely distributed. Basically, you’ll take your information and store it on a decentralized system and you’ll have a choice to log in without third-party services.”
Blockchain Technology To Replace Third Party Log In?
Software developers will prefer a blockchain-based log in a system when they don’t want to grant third parties. While Zuckerberg acknowledged this, he stated that there will be a disadvantage to this system as it may give bad actors an opportunity to get away with anything.
Zuckerberg made reference to the Facebook privacy scandal that was all over the news last year. In his words:
“Basically, individuals decided to grant access of their data out to someone who was allegedly affiliated with Cambridge University. The person sold the information to Cambridge Analytica and this was a violation of our policies. This was why we cut off the developers access.”
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According to him, a distributed system empowers people on one hand but raises the issue of consent. There is no way for people to know if they are giving access to an institution or a bad actor. He said that regulating larger companies and holding them accountable is much easier than depending on a decentralized system. Going further, he said:
“The question now is, do you really want a system were the intermediaries are cut off but there would be an increase in cases of data abuse where recourse will be difficult to achieve?”
Zuckerberg concluded by raising some technical issues attached to a decentralized system:
“Surely, the level of computation required on Facebook will be very intense to be done on a decentralized system. Decentralized systems are more computationally intensive and this makes them harder to implement. They are harder to do computation on but maybe some companies will have the resources to do that.”
Facebook Searches For Blockchain Experts
Zuckerberg made valid points about replacing third-party services with blockchain-based systems. It comes with advantages and disadvantages. From his words, however, it’s safe to say that he would not be using a blockchain-based system to secure login on his social media networks. This doesn’t mean he is anti-blockchain. As reported by smarttest.wpmudev.host, Facebook posted 13 new job openings for blockchain experts on its recruitment website.
Until now, the company has been able to keep its plans in the industry a secret. Some experts suggested that Facebook is planning to launch a cryptocurrency that would be used for remittance by its Indian WhatsApp user base. There have been no official announcements to verify this information.
Do you agree with Mark Zuckerberg? Does using blockchain-based login systems increase the risk of data abuse? Share your thoughts in the comment section.