The inventor of the Web Tim Berners-Lee predicts ‘a massive outcry’ over online privacy

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An interview with Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web.

Asked, "What's your reaction to last week's vote? Is it consistent with your vision for the Web?" Berners-Lee said, "We do things on the Web that are very intimate, like look up cancers we're worried other people might have or that we're having. We have intimate conversations with people in a way that we would have only in the very close quarters of a security-locked room. Just by the things that we do on the Web — we betray completely the most intimate details of our lives and hopes and fears and weaknesses that can be exploited. Maybe the ISPs don't go in this direction; maybe they realize it would be inappropriate. If they do [go in that direction] I think there'll be a massive outcry." When asked, "Google and Facebook already collect and share our data for advertising purposes. Are Internet providers that different?" Berners-Lee replied, "Absolutely those industries are completely different. The business of supplying bits is a really important business. It's like water; it's a lower part of the infrastructure on which everything else depends. The fact that [your provider] doesn't have an attitude about what you use it for is why it's been successful. It's why the Internet has taken over the world. A social network is different — it's not got much to do with moving bits from place to place. You have a choice, and even if you're a member of one of these social networks, you don't have to do everything there."


The inventor of the Web Tim Berners-Lee predicts ‘a massive outcry’ over online privacy