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Monday 2 December 2019

Post-doctoral researcher, Dr Garfield Benjamin examines the 'Contract for the Web' proposed by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, and its potential impact on how organisations and consumers use the internet.

Tim Berners-Lee is credited with inventing the world wide web and now he’s calling on us to save it. The British engineer and computer scientist recently released a Contract for the Web – a list of commitments for governments, businesses and individuals to make in order to tackle fake news and privacy violations online.

According to a new report by Amnesty International, the internet is threatened as never before by the dominance of companies such as Facebook and Google), which stand accused of “enabling human rights harm at a population scale”.

Tech companies allow us to keep up to date with the world and keep in touch with friends and family no matter where they live. We use them to find job opportunities or to create new communities online. But every time you use search engines or social media, your personal data can be hoarded and sold on to other businesses. No doubt these platforms would argue that our data is the cost of using their services for free, but there’s plenty in this arrangement for ordinary web users to fear.

Read Dr Garfield Benjamin's article in full on The Conversation