Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, said the dominance of the internet giants is a “heresy” that should not last, adding that urgent change is necessary to bridge the digital divide in youth access to the Internet.
Berners-Lee, who invented the online navigation system known as the World Wide Web in 1989, added that he had “a feeling of discomfort … a feeling that we needed to turn things around to change them.”
Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web
High-profile incidents such as the row between Facebook and Australia, which led to the social network blocking news content in the country, prompted many citizens and governments to reassess their relationships with internet companies and social media giants.
“I’m optimistic because we’ve seen some internet domination fads before and then things have changed,” Berners-Lee said in an interview with Reuters.
He added that people are resisting the use and misuse of personal data.
“(There is) a great awareness that things have to change,” he said.
He added that a combination of government policies and technology can help people regain control of their data and their lives online.
Berners-Lee, 65, is working on a project called Solid, in which the user controls his personal data, rather than platforms like Facebook.
He said that recognizing the Internet as a fundamental right, similar to the perception of electricity in the last century, is vital especially in a world increasingly shaped by those with access to the grid.