Berners-Lee says the worst aspects of the web threaten to bring about a digital dystopia, which has led to the launch of the “Contract for the Web.” Created by over 80 organizations, representing governments, companies, and civil society, the scheme requires commitments to keep the web open, safe, and free.
The contract is split into nine central principles, which are divided into three each for governments, companies, and citizens.
Governments are called on to ensure everyone can connect to the internet, keep all of the internet available permanently, and respect and protect people’s online privacy and data rights.
Companies’ principles include making the internet affordable and accessible, respecting and protecting users’ privacy and personal data, and developing tech that “support the best in humanity and challenge the worst.”
Last is the Citizens’ principles. These ask individuals to create content that makes the web a valuable place, build strong online communities, and fight to keep the web an open place.
"The power of the web to transform people's lives, enrich society and reduce inequality is one of the defining opportunities of our time," said Berners-Lee. "But if we don't act now, and act together, to prevent the web being misused by those who want to exploit, divide and undermine, we are at risk of squandering that potential."
"The Contract for the Web gives us a roadmap to build a better web. But it will not happen unless we all commit to the challenge."