Tim Berners-Lee warns against collection of online data

Internet creator Sir Tim Berners-Lee has said web users’ data should not be collected by internet companies and commercial operations.

Speaking at a online privacy event at Westminster yesterday, Berners-Lee said people’s concerns about being monitored online and the idea their data would be shared with a third parties, such as advertising agencies, would change how people used the internet.

“We use the internet without a thought that a third party would know what we have clicked on. But the URLs people use reveal a huge amount about their lives, loves, hates and fears. This is extremely sensitive information.

“People use the web in a crisis, when wondering whether they have a sexually transmitted disease, or cancer, when wondering if they are homosexual and whether to talk about it,” he said.

“It should not be collected in the first place,” he added.

The comments follow yesterday’s announcement by Google that it was to launch its own behavioural targeting service in beta across the Google Content Network and YouTube.

It also follows the launch of IAB’s good practice guidelines for behavioural targeting, which state companies must clearly inform consumers that data is being collected and used for behavioural targeting, provide a mechanism for them to opt out, and provide clear information about their use of the data.

This story first appeared on newmediaage.co.uk

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here