The creator of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee, aims to change it for the better after admitting that he is disappointed at how tech giants have transformed it over the years.
In order to be able to understand the future of the web, we’ll take a moment to remember where it came from.
Interestingly, and unbeknown to many, developers and tech professionals alike refer to the history of the web in three phases – Web 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0.
Some decades ago, when the web was in its first stage, its sole function was to provide a one-way system of information, from HTML sites to users. Hyperlinks dominated and everything was, well, a lot simpler.
As the web developed and evolved over the years, it began to focus more on dynamic websites and collaborative power for users. Search engines became the norm and websites like YouTube began to collect data from users.
Fast-forward to now, this data is kept on centralised servers, which are owned and managed by large companies and organisations, like Google and Facebook, who share this information with each other. We are constantly being tracked, tagged and hacked. Until now.
“The web has evolved into an engine of inequity and division; swayed by powerful forces who use it for their own agendas,” Tim Berners-Lee once said.
Now, in a bid to decentralize the web and give users more control over their data, Berners-Lee has launched a new start-up, Intrupt, which will be responsible for releasing a new open-source project called Solid, which will pave the way for Web 3.0.
In a blog post, Sir Tim said: “Solid changes the current model where users have to hand over personal data to digital giants in exchange for perceived value.
"As we’ve all discovered, this hasn’t been in our best interests. Solid is how we evolve the web in order to restore balance - by giving every one of us complete control over data, personal or not, in a revolutionary way.
"Solid is a platform, built using the existing web. It gives every user a choice about where data is stored, which specific people and groups can access select elements, and which apps you use. It allows you, your family and colleagues, to link and share data with anyone. It allows people to look at the same data with different apps at the same time."
Given recent events, like the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Solid seems to have come just in time. There’s no guarantee that Solid will be accepted by the world of web, however, Tim Berners-Lee has since said he’s "incredibly optimistic for this next era of the web." and we’ll have to agree with him on that one.