Tim Berners-Lee sets out vision for the web in 2050

Sir Tim Berners-Lee has called on people to defend net neutrality and keep the web a democratic, decentralised platform.

In a keynote speech to kick off this year's IP Expo in London, the World Wide Web creator gave his view on what the world would be like in 2050, but warned that these were "instructions, rather than predictions".

"I don't like to give predictions, the future is what we build."

He said the web he created was built on top of an open internet and that net neutralitiy must be kept in order to help future innovations take flight.

"We have to keep fighting for net neutrality and keeping the internet as a platform without a centre, a platform without an attitude," he said.

He warned againast ISPs creating a two-tier internet where certain websites and applications were slowed down and "held to ransom". He said that providers that did this should have "the public come down on them like a ton of bricks".

"Net neutrality is really important, it means you don't have to worry about someone on the internet throttling your latest app."

Sir Tim went on to talk about web privacy and said the idea that it is dead is "hopeless and sad". He urged people to build systems that allowed for privacy, before adding that his vision for the web is one where users can control their data and by extension their privacy.

"I would like to build a world where I have control of my data and maybe I sell it to you. More importantly, I'll have control of access and legal ownership of all the data about me."

He insisted that privacy is still important but in sharing data with third parties, people must realises it is a lot less valuable to firms than it is to people themselves.

"This data is more valuable to me than to companies building targeted ads," he said, before stating that sharing personal data should be used to create apps that improve the quality of life.

"If I'm in a car accident, I want any doctor to access that data to treat me," he said, adding he didn't want to same data to be used to sell him insurance.

Rene Millman

Rene Millman is a freelance writer and broadcaster who covers cybersecurity, AI, IoT, and the cloud. He also works as a contributing analyst at GigaOm and has previously worked as an analyst for Gartner covering the infrastructure market. He has made numerous television appearances to give his views and expertise on technology trends and companies that affect and shape our lives. You can follow Rene Millman on Twitter.