The internet is a wonderful collection of data and information, personal and public. It is a way for many to gain information and news on certain topics and it lets us share ourselves with friends and family.
However, the internet has been misused and personal data may be shared by and between organizations. This is why the creator of the World Wide Web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, wants to tackle the situation in a 5-year plan that will help regulate the flow of information and how it is shared and what is distributed.
He stated that inappropriate use of people’s personal data have had a “chilling effect on free speech”. A lot of people’s data is shared without them knowing and most can’t even tell what data they want to be shared. Such information is then used by advertisement companies to advertise user specific things, and although it may seem harmless, does involve the use of one’s data without their consent.
Another issue that has sprung up with the rise of social media is that of fake news. Fake news is wrong information that is purposefully circulated to change the way people think on a certain topic. It may also be news that gets circulated so fast it becomes viral yet is not real at all. Sir Tim wants to have a greater degree of transparency.
He wants to put “a fair level of data control back in the hands of people”. He is gravely concerned over government surveillance and blocking out of certain portals and topics. He wants the industry to become more sophisticated and leave its current unethical practices. He admits that it won’t be an easy thing to accomplish but requests that all those who have helped make the internet what it is, come together to help solve the crisis.