Sir Tim Berners-Lee is concerned over the widening digital divide that might thwart the future success of many young people. Internet access is supposed to be enjoyed by everyone. He said this through correspondence during the 32nd anniversary of the World Wide Web.
For those who don’t know him, Sir Tim Berners-Lee is recognized for his invention back in 1989. For his invention of the internet navigation system, commonly known as the World Wide Web. After much development and upgrades, he believes that his invention has not yet lived up to its potential. Currently, the majority has not enjoyed reliable internet access. Citing that the threat from the dominance of the online tech giants is just a trend. And like any other trend, it will not be sustained for long.
During Reuter’s interview, Sir Tim Berners-Lee said that there were some past dominant trends on the internet but wasn’t sustained. Things change so fast, so he believes that the trendy online giants will soon be past. What is quite evident though is that change is accelerating at a faster rate.
Internet access is supposed to be a basic human right
Particularly during this period of the pandemic, the way of the world has been shifting to digitalization. However, there are still around 1/3 of the whole young people populace who still have no access to the internet. Most of them lack the data, proper computer or tablet devices, and reliable connectivity needed to utilize the benefit of the web.
According to UNICEF, only 1/3 of the world’s youth under 25 years old have access to a home internet connection. This leaves behind the bigger chunk of the remaining youth of around 2.2 Billion without reliable connectivity. A stable internet connection has become a basic need in order to learn lessons online.
To fight against this inequality, Sir Tim Berners-Lee proposes that governments across the world must recognize its importance. That the internet is supposed to be a basic human right and not just for the privileged few.
Sir Tim Berners-Lee issued an open letter, where he explains this reality. Based on the calculation from the Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI), around $428 billion additional investment is needed. With this investment, everyone will be given access to a reliable broadband connection over the next ten years period. That will just translate into just $116 per person for the 3.7 Billion remaining people without access to reliable internet. By giving them access to the vast web resources, could result in further economic growth and social empowerment.
Solid project for user’s privacy protection
Together with his passion to make the internet a basic right, he is also working on a project called Solid. Solid aims for privacy protection for web users. It aims to give back to the users the rightful control over their own personal data. Instead of just leaving it to the tech giants such as Facebook.
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