Facebook is the most vulnerable large technology company when it comes to facing disruption, a prominent venture capitalist told CNBC on Tuesday, amid ongoing concerns around privacy.
The social media giant had a rough 2018. It kicked off after revelations that the data of 87 million Facebook users had been harvested by a political consultancy that ended up working with President Donald Trump's campaign. Then came reports about Russian-backed attempts to influence American elections and news that 50 million Facebook accounts were compromised in a cyberattack, in addition to the resignation of Instagram's founders.
Rebeca Hwang, co-founder and managing director of Rivet Ventures, said backlash from users toward social media firms has left Facebook is a tough place.
"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," Hwang said during a CNBC-hosted panel at the Davos Sanctuary.
"In my opinion, they have to take very strong actions to maintain their position."
Facebook was not immediately available for comment when contacted by CNBC.
Part of the discussion on the panel focused on the power of the world's largest technology firms and whether they are too powerful to face disruption. Hwang said that the heightened sensitivity among consumers toward data privacy could provide an opportunity for start-ups.
"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," Hwang told CNBC.