Analyst sees blockchain as the future of infosec on social media

Blockchain tech could allow tracking of private data in the future.

As the shockwaves from the recent Cambridge Analytica revelations continue to rattle Facebook, RBC Capital Markets analyst Mitch Steven has pointed out how blockchain technology could help to instil peace of mind for users worried about how their data is being used.

Speaking to CNBC, Steves pointed out how the same tech that underpins cryptocurrencies – while not preventing misuse of data such as that seen in the CA case – could allow users to “100 percent track all this stuff”.

“In the future,” Steven said, “someone like yourself no longer has to give their photos to Facebook. Instead, you could just share that photo specifically with people, and then you’d be able to track it and make sure it’s not shared with someone who gets access to your information.”

His comments come the day after reports that Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc. had a working group looking into applying blockchain technology within its cloud computing applications, possibly in a similar security centred application.

“Blockchain would solve the transparency issue,” Steve’s reiterated, “but it would not solve the control issue you have.”

Last week it was revealed by The Guardian and UK’s Channel 4 News that Cambridge Analytica gained access to data on 50 million-plus Facebook users, and used it in ways that breached its contract with the company. The problem for Facebook, even beyond that, is that it apparently chose not to inform its users of this breach despite having a long-running knowledge of it.

“Big tech and the centralised control isn’t working,” said Susan Och of the think-tank New America told CNBC’s Closing Bell show. “This is why distributed ledger technology is taking off.”