Tim Berners-Lee Insists That You Get Your Data Back From Facebook, Google, and Twitter

Posted Apr 18, 2012

Tim Berners-Lee, the “father” of the World Wide Web is arguing that the data that we provide to Internet silos like Google and Facebook are more valuable to the user on an individual basis compared to the firm. Berners-Lee said that we should be able to get our data back from Internet companies in a useful format. If users are not able to retrieve their data in a useful way, then they should fight for it.

?Well if it?s so valuable to these companies then why can?t I sell it? I don?t think it?s the value to a company,? said Berners-Lee in an interview with The Guardian. ?My computer has a good understanding of my state of fitness, the things I?m eating, the places I?m eating, where I am, where I go, and so on. My phone understands from being, in my pocket, how much exercise I?ve been getting and how many stairs I?ve been walking up and so on. In fact, that?s completely valuable information for me to use. For me.?

Facebook has a “Download your Information” tool, but the data has been criticized for not being delivered in a format that is easy to parse.