Rivet Ventures Co-Founder Calls Facebook ‘Vulnerable,’ Comments on Social Media Cyber Attacks

Facebook has had a very difficult year for 2018, starting with the discovery that 87 million users were used by a consulting firm that worked with the campaign to bring President Donald Trump to office.

Soon after, it was found that 50 million accounts were compromised by the attempts that Russia made to impact who won the election via cyber-attack. This does not even include Instagram’s founders resigning.

The managing director and co-founder of Rivet Ventures, Rebeca Hwang, believes that the users’ dissatisfaction with social media in general has kept Facebook in a difficult place for their company. During a CNBC interview, she said,

“I do think Facebook is in a very vulnerable place right now. Both seen from the perspective of the consumer reaction… but also from the perspective of the deal flow that I see and the types of companies that are trying to become the disruptors of a Facebook.” She added, “In my opinion, they have to take very strong actions to maintain their position.”

At this point, Facebook has not responded to CNBC’s correspondence for a comment.

The attention turned to a discussion of whether certain big players in the technology world are too powerful to deal with the potential for disruption. Hwang said that consumers now have a greater concern for data privacy, which could be a good thing for startup companies.

Hwang said, “I think the ones that have become dominant, especially with younger generations, it’s also very challenging having that status. And so, I don’t necessarily see a future where all of these giants will continue dominating forever. I think there will be disruptors in some of these areas by new players.”

Blockchain technology could have enough momentum to take some of the big tech firms’ power away, according to Phil Chen.

Chen, the managing director for Presence Capital and the decentralized chief officer for HTC, believes that Facebook and similar companies hold user data in a central database within the company. However, considering that blockchain is a public ledger, the information could not be held by any specific entity, which puts the power back in the hands of the user.

Chen, speaking to CNBC, said, “That’s the hope, that’s the thesis. At the end of the day today, the big corporates, they have big central services that hold everybody’s data. I think what bitcoin and blockchain really allows… is empowering people to hold their own keys.”

A key, in the crypto sense, is a unique cryptographic address that helps the user store their crypto assets. With this application on websites like Facebook, users own their information. Chen added,

“Once you start owning your own keys, which is the means in which you own the cryptocurrency, then you start owning your identity, then you start owning your data, and that needs the whole crowd and the people to participate.”

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