Tim Berners-Lee to speak about ‘the data revolution’ in Dublin

19 Apr 2012

Tim Berners-Lee. Image courtesy of the Tim Berners-Lee Facebook page

Tim Berners-Lee, the man credited with having invented the world wide web while at CERN, yesterday called on internet users to demand their personal data from internet giants such as Google and Facebook. He will be in Dublin next week to talk about the data explosion.

Berners-Lee, an advocate of open data, will be speaking on Tuesday at the 2012 Teradata Universe Conference, which will be held at The Convention Centre in Dublin over four days from next Sunday.

It was at TED2009 that Berners-Lee called for “raw data now” and for governments, scientists and institutions to make their data openly available on the internet.

So what’s this all about personal data and the web? In an interview with The Guardian yesterday, Berners-Lee warned about how many individuals who use the web haven’t fully grasped the amount of personal data information that web giants such as Facebook and Google hold about them.

He told the paper people could be exploiting the data such web companies have about them.

The MIT professor touched on social networking “silos” and said one of the issues with such sites is that “they have the data and I don’t”.

He also spoke about how internet giants such as Google and Facebook are starting to understand the need to make their users’ data easier to recover.

The English-born scientist is the director of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), while he is also a director of the Web Science Research Initiative.

A graduate of Oxford University, Berners-Lee invented the world wide web in 1989 while he was working at CERN. He wrote the first web client and server in 1990.

Berners-Lee is also a director of the new Open Data Institute in the UK.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic