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

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