Father Of The World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee, Reflects On The First 25 Years
This past week, I spoke at IPExpo Europe in London, and I was honored to have Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the father of the World Wide Web as a fellow speaker. He reflected on the 25 years that have passed since he helped create the Internet. He raised a number of interesting topics during the course of his presentation.
First, he indicated that he does not regret baking greater security into the initial version of the web saying, “It might not have taken off if it had been too difficult.” Like the Internet entrepreneurs who would leverage the platform he helped create, he was concerned that the web have an audience first before evaluating changes that would be necessary.
He did go on to say that it is essential that the Internet allow for greater user privacy. “The idea that privacy is dead is hopelessly sad,” Berners-Lee said. “We have to build systems that allow for privacy…People have the right to see how their data is being used.” As examples, he indicated that individuals’ personal medical data should be accessible to doctors and first responders, but not to insurance companies who might use the data to reject potential customers or raise their rates. He went on to say, “We should build a world where I have control of my data and sell it to you. Users should have control, access to and ownership of their data.”