Tim Berners-Lee, the father of the world wide web, has urged internet users to demand their personal data from online giants such as Google and Facebook to usher in a new era of highly personalised computer services “with tremendous potential to help humanity”, according to guardian.co.uk.
Berners-Lee, the British born MIT professor who invented the web three decades ago, says that while there has been an explosion of public data made available in recent years, individuals have not yet understood the value to them of the personal data held about them by different web companies.
In an interview with the Guardian, Berners-Lee said: “My computer has a great understanding of my state of fitness, of the things I’m eating, of the places I’m at. 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.”
Exploiting such data could provide hugely useful services to individuals, he said, but only if their computers had access to personal data held about them by web companies. “One of the issues of social networking silos is that they have the data and I don’t … There are no programmes that I can run on my computer which allow me to use all the data in each of the social networking systems that I use plus all the data in my calendar plus in my running map site, plus the data in my little fitness gadget and so on to really provide an excellent support to me.”
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Americans are getting more privacy savvy on Facebook
Whether it’s pruning friends lists, removing unwanted comments or restricting access to their profiles, Americans are getting more privacy-savvy on social networks, a new report found, cited by Boston.org.
The report released Friday by the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that people are managing their privacy settings and their online reputation more often than they did two years earlier. For example, 44 percent of respondents said in 2011 that they deleted comments from their profile on a social networking site. Only 36 percent said the same thing in 2009.
Among other findings:
— Women are much more likely than men to restrict their profiles. Pew found that 67 percent of women set their profiles so that only their “friends’’ can see it. Only 48 percent of men did the same.
— Think all that time in school taught you something? People with the highest levels of education reported having the most difficulty figuring out their privacy settings. That said, only 2 percent of social media users described privacy controls as “very difficult to manage.’’
— The report found no significant differences in people’s basic privacy controls by age. In other words, younger people were just as likely to use privacy controls as older people. Sixty-two percent of teens and 58 percent of adults restricted access to their profiles to friends only.
— Young adults were more likely than older people to delete unwanted comments. Fifty-six percent of social media users aged 18 to 29 said they have deleted comments that others have made on their profile, compared with 40 percent of those aged 30 to 49 and 34 percent of people aged 50 to 64.
— Men are more likely to post something they later regret. Fifteen percent of male respondents said they posted something regrettable, compared with 8 percent of female respondents.
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