The computer scientist credited as the inventor of the Web says there’s one big thing wrong with the Internet today: It has enabled a few giant tech firms, such as Facebook and Google, to amass too much power.
“Tim Berners-Lee, a London-born computer scientist who invented the Web in 1989, said he was disappointed with the current state of the Internet, following scandals over the abuse of personal data and the use of social media to spread hate,” Reuters reports.
“The digital revolution has spawned a handful of U.S.-based technology companies since the 1990s that now have a combined financial and cultural power greater than most sovereign states,” Reuters notes, adding: “Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Google and Facebook have a combined market capitalization of $3.7 trillion, equal to Germany’s gross domestic product last year.”
Said Berners-Lee: “What naturally happens is you end up with one company dominating the field so through history there is no alternative to really coming in and breaking things up. There is a danger of concentration.”
But he urged caution, adding: “Before breaking them up, we should see whether they are not just disrupted by a small player beating them out of the market, but by the market shifting, by the interest going somewhere else.”