Concerns Dot Com: Inventor of the Web is worried about Facebook, Google, Apple and CISPA
He revolutionized the world by inventing the World Wide Web. Decades later, though, MIT professor Tim Berners-Lee is warning consumers of his creation against Google and Facebook, as well as the government’s attempts to censor the Internet.
In an interview published by the Guardian on Wednesday, Berners-Lee celebrates the marvels made possible by the Web but cautions users to be weary of what companies could be doing with thought-to-be-private info. While the Internet offers endless answers, solutions and opportunities for entertainment, the British-born professor warns that the companies that consumers invest their personal data into might not necessarily be their friend.
“My computer has a great understanding of my state of fitness, of the things I’m eating, of the places I’m at. My phone understands from being in my pocket how much exercise I’ve been getting and how many stairs I’ve been walking up and so on,” says the scientist.
As helpful as that could be, though, Berners-Lee says it has its downside.
“One of the issues of social networking silos is that they have the data and I don’t,” he explains. “There are no programs that I can run on my computer which allow me to use all the data in each of the social networking systems that I use plus all the data in my calendar plus in my running map site, plus the data in my little fitness gadget and so on to really provide an excellent support to me.”
Who is benefiting then? Companies like Facebook, Google and Apple, which are monopolizing not just the Internet, but their user’s information.
“It’s interesting that people throughout the existence of the web have been concerned about monopolies. They were concerned [about] Netscape having complete control over the browser market until suddenly they started worrying that Microsoft had complete control of the browser market. So I think one of the lessons is that things can change very rapidly,” he says.