Who owns the Web: BCS Welcomes Contract for Web - Launched by Sir Tim Berners-Lee
BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT has welcomed the launch of a Contract for the web by Sir Tim Berners-Lee – a global plan of action to make our online world safe and empowering for everyone. The Contract calls for governments and businesses to ‘safeguard the web from abuse and ensure it benefits humanity.’
Bill Mitchell, Director of Policy at BCS yesterday said:
“This is a most welcome start to a dialogue for how we ensure the Web creates genuine societal benefit and avoids unintended harm. At the same time, we think some of the fine print in the contract needs to be carefully looked at through consultation with key stakeholders to ensure we achieve the right balance between democratic sovereignty, incentives for commercial innovation, and individual freedoms.”
He continues: “The web has fantastic potential, but it’s important to be aware of the dangers as well as the benefits it brings with it. The new Contract echoes much of what BCS has been working on over recent years including developing policy on areas of concern including online harms, facial recognition and political manipulation. Society has a responsibility to help people manage risks, reduce harms and understand how the Web works, so that they take full and empowered advantage of it in the future. Failure to do so will damage public trust and confidence.”
BCS, which is both an educational charity as well as the professional body for IT, has called for a national cyber-safety programme to be introduced in schools if young people are to be protected. Its own research shows that younger pupils want to know more about how to look out for potential dangers online.
BCS also has concerns over Facial Recognition and says there is an unprecedented danger of the misuse of biometric data, including identity theft, because of a combination of flawed technology and a lack of ethical and rigorous safeguards around how that data is captured, stored and processed.
The Institute has also backed a call for politicians of all persuasions to do the right thing when it comes to using data to influence voters – following a letter from the UK’s Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham to all the main political parties, reminding them to use people’s data lawfully during the General Election campaign.
As the professional body for the digital industries, BCS has backed this appeal and has come up with its own top ten guidelines for a digitally ethical election.
Latest News from
The public don’t trust computer algorithms to make decisions about them, survey finds08/09/2020 13:20:00
The majority of people do not trust computers to make decisions about any aspect of their lives, according to a new survey.
Algorithms must meet ethical and professional standards to recover public trust, report recommends01/09/2020 14:10:00
Algorithms that change people’s lives - for example when estimating students’ grades - should now meet strict standards of ethics and competence, according to a new report by the professional body for IT.
Diversity in Tech – The Awkward Conversation26/08/2020 14:05:00
IT leaders and policy makers need to create more diverse and inclusive teams - that’s the conclusion of a recent webinar held by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT.
IT Early Career professionals to get more support from BCS24/08/2020 14:10:00
A new initiative to support people in the early stages of their working lives within the digital industries been launched by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT.
Challenges set by 'Schrems 2' personal data ruling 'won’t go away' after Brexit, Institute for IT warns19/08/2020 12:20:00
The EU‘s ‘Schrems 2’ judgement – which ruled that the Privacy Shield Framework cannot be used for transferring personal data between the EU and US - demands ‘prompt action’ from UK organisations, the professional body for IT has warned.
Challenges set by ‘Schrems 2’ personal data ruling ‘won’t go away’ after Brexit, Institute for IT warns18/08/2020 13:10:00
The EU‘s ‘Schrems 2’ judgement - which ruled that the Privacy Shield Framework cannot be used for transferring personal data between the EU and US - demands ‘prompt action’ from UK organisations, the professional body for IT has warned.
Number of female students studying Computer Science increases by 300% in five years, new data reveals14/08/2020 10:20:00
Record numbers of female students took Computer Science A-level this year, with an increase of 23% on 2019, new figures show.
IT professionals cast doubt on Huawei’s warning that ban will 'move Britain into the digital slow lane’ – new survey05/08/2020 14:10:00
The majority of IT professionals (53%) do not believe Huawei’s claim that the UK’s decision to ban the tech giant from 5G will 'move Britain into the digital slow lane, push up bills and deepen the digital divide', according to a new survey.