“If we leave the web as it is, there’s a very large number of things that will go wrong. We could end up with a digital dystopia if we don’t turn things around. It’s not that we need a 10-year plan for the web, we need to turn the web around now.” Some sobering comments from Tim Berners-Lee, who invented the world wide web, and who is now kickstarting an initiative to fix it. It’s called Contract for the Web, and it’s all about “safeguarding the future of the web” across four themes: access and openness; privacy and data rights; positive tech; and public action.
The actual contract is based around nine principles: three for governments, three for companies and three for citizens, with the likes of Google, Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and Microsoft among the technology companies endorsing it so far. Which may make you wonder just how much bite there really is if these companies don’t stick to the principles outlined in the contract. However, the Guardian reported that “those who back the contract must show they are implementing the principles and working on solutions to the tougher problems, or face being removed from the list of endorsers” – adding, in reference to some of the recent controversies around some of its tech backers, that “if the stipulation is properly enforced, some may not last long”.
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