Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg examined the consequences of block-based user data authorization in an interview with Harvard law professor Jonathan Zittrain on February 20th.
During a discussion on topics such as the future of technology and society, Zuckerberg said that he "think that[s] about the work we do [Facebook] are a force of decentralization in the world. Zuckerberg said that people of his generation have turned to technology because "it gives power to people, and does not centralize massively. "
Zuckerberg mentioned that he was considering a case of potential use of blockchain allowing users to control their data, adding, "Basically, you take your information, you store it on a decentralized system and you have the choice intermediate."
He noted that while decentralized technology processes that were "relatively computationally intensive" could eventually be overcome, there were also moral implications.
"I think the most interesting questions are not achievable in the short term, but are the philosophical questions of the quality of a system like this," Zuckerberg said. He said that a decentralized system could allow users to better control their data, but could also lead to further abuse, and any recourse would be much more difficult than on a centralized system.
Zuckerberg said that an example of how the company is moving towards a more decentralized structure is to offer encryption in its messaging services. Zuckerberg emphasized the benefits of encryption, such as privacy and security, but also emphasized the importance of security given that "people rightly have an expectation of us. [Facebook]we will do everything in our power to prevent terrorists from recruiting people or exploiting children ".
Earlier this month, Facebook reportedly acquired Chainspace on its first apparent blockchain acquisition. The start-up would work on block chain extensibility issues, including applying fragmentation to smart contracts. However, Facebook would have acquired the start-up primarily for the skills or expertise of its staff, rather than for the service or products provided by the company.