NYT: Decentralized Blockchain Tech Could Bring ‘New Generation’ of Online Services Without ‘Unfettered Access to Our Personal Info’

Giant letters, reading the word "blockchain" are displayed at the blockchain center, which aims at boosting start-ups, in Lithuania's capital Vilnius
AFP

Technology analysts are suggesting that blockchain technology will back the next generation of privacy-focused social media platforms that will allow users to own their personal data.

A new report from Nathaniel Popper suggests that blockchain technology may back the next generation of social media platforms. With intense scrutiny on Facebook in recent weeks for their role in leaking user data to third-party companies, Silicon Valley is looking towards the next evolution in the social media world.

Ryan Shea, the co-founder of Blockstack, a company working with blockchain technology, believes that users are ready for a decentralized social media platform. Blockchain technology would allow end users to maintain complete ownership over their social media data.

“People feel the need to move away from something like Facebook and toward something that allows them to have ownership of their own data,” Shea said.

Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the World Wide Web, has argued that blockchain technology could help restrict the amount of power that large companies wield over the internet. However, he warned that a decentralized internet may lead to more criminal activity.

Bradley Tusk, a former campaign manager for Michael R. Bloomberg, says that internet users are interested in a more private browsing experience.

“Everything is moving toward people saying, ‘I want all the benefits of the internet, but I want to protect my privacy and my security,’” Tusk said. “The only thing I know that can reconcile those things is the blockchain.”

Although the future of the internet is unclear, it is clear that users are itching for something fresh. According to a 2018 report, Facebook lost 2.8 million users under 25-years-old in 2017. The report suggests that this figure is likely to increase in 2018. Facebook’s unanticipated data scandal will likely only worsen their user retainment issues.

 

 

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