Tim Berners-Lee Created the Web. Now He’s Out to Remake the Digital World.
Tim Berners-Lee believes the online world has gone astray. Too much power and too much personal data, he says, reside with the tech giants like Google and Facebook — “silos” is the generic term he favors, instead of referring to the companies by name. Fueled by vast troves of data, he says, they have become surveillance platforms and gatekeepers of innovation. Regulators have voiced similar complaints. The big tech companies are facing tougher privacy rules in Europe and some American states, led by California. Google and Facebook have been hit with antitrust suits. But Berners-Lee is taking a different approach: His answer to the problem is technology that gives individuals more power. The goal, he said, is to move toward “the web that I originally wanted.” “Pods,” personal online data stores, are a key technical ingredient to achieve that goal. The idea is that each person could control his or her own data — websites visited, credit card purchases, workout routines, music streamed — in an individual data safe, typically a sliver of server space.
He Created the Web. Now He’s Out to Remake the Digital World.