Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the web, launches Contract for the Web that encourages companies to agree to let individuals own and control their data and importantly to allow mobility of data. Berners-Lee slammed social media saying that we have passed the “tipping point” and that “silos shouldn’t dominate your life.”
The Contract for the Web asks companies to agree to certain principals that meet this overall objective:
The web was designed to bring people together and make knowledge freely available. Everyone has a role to play to ensure the web serves humanity. By committing to the following principles, governments, companies, and citizens around the world can help protect the open web as a public good and a basic right for everyone.
This Has Been a Tipping Point
For a long time, like 20 years, I thought all I had to do is keep it (the web) free and open and people would do wonderful things. There was a Wikipedia and there are cats and there are wonderful things, but in fact, if you look at such people in the street now there’s been a big change. I think this has been a tipping point.
The average person using the web is sometimes frustrated by the ads and sometimes they’re frustrated by not knowing what’s true. Sometimes they’re frustrated that they can’t really actually work with the people to build something new as they could. Sometimes they feel frustrated that they’re in different social networking silos that don’t talk to each other. In all kinds of ways you’re hearing both individuals, industry, press, and lots of commentators feel we could do better. The Contract for the Web is about everything. Let’s all get together and do better.
Contract for the Web is About Working Together
The Contract for the Web isn’t about (the concentration of power in big tech companies). The Contract for the Web is about needing all the big players and all of the little players working together. In a way, it’s healthy to have big players and little players because they each provide different things.
What’s been interesting recently is the Data Transfer Project, where Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Microsoft all agreed that you can export your data from one and import it into another. To a certain extent, I think there’s been a push from individuals and to some extent from journalists to say that even though you might have these large silos, the silos shouldn’t dominate your life. You should be able to move from one to the other. You should be able to operate with data from wherever it comes from. It should be data that you can control.