NEWS25 November 2019

Tim Berners-Lee launches plan to safeguard web

Data analytics News Privacy Public Sector Technology Trends UK

UK – Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the world wide web, has published an action plan to prevent the misuse of the web and ensure it benefits everyone.

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The ‘contract for the web’, launched by the World Wide Web Foundation, outlines nine principles for governments, companies and individuals to follow to protect the future of the web.

Organisations including Microsoft, Google and Facebook have backed the contract, as well as the governments of Germany, France and Ghana.

Berners-Lee said: “The power of the web to transform people’s lives, enrich society and reduce inequality is one of the defining opportunities of our time. But if we don’t act now — and act together — to prevent the web being misused by those who want to exploit, divide and undermine, we are at risk of squandering that potential.”

Governments should ensure all of their citizens can connect to the internet all of the time, according to the contract, which also requires companies to make connectivity affordable and accessible to all.

Companies must respect and protect people’s privacy and personal data so that individuals are in control of their online lives, and given ‘clear and meaningful choices around their data and privacy’.

The contract also calls for citizens to ‘build strong communities that respect civil discourse and human dignity’.

Brett Solomon, co-founder of digital rights organisation Access Now, said: “Only through real commitment and concrete action from all members of the internet community — especially governments and companies — will we make the necessary reforms to put people and rights back at the centre of the internet.”