“The data we create about ourselves should be owned by each of us, not by the large companies that harvest it, the Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the world wide web, said today,” Alex Hern reports for The Guardian. “Berners-Lee told the IPExpo Europe in London’s Excel Centre that the potential of big data will be wasted as its current owners use it to serve ever more ‘queasy’ targeted advertising.”

“By gaining access to their own data, people could use it with information about themselves from other sources in order to create ‘rich data’ – a far more valuable commodity than mere ‘big data”’ he said,” Hern reports. “Berners-Lee argued that the burden of tracking should be moved from the typical web user to the individuals and organizations with access to our data.”

“[Berners-Lee said], ‘We turn tracking around: … make tracking something that we do to the people who use our data,'” Hern reports. “That way, he argued, we would not have to completely lock down sensitive information such as our health data, so that if we’re in a car accident, the right person can still access important information – but only by notifying us that they have done so.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple CEO Tim Cook on privacy:

At Apple, your trust means everything to us. That’s why we respect your privacy and protect it with strong encryption, plus strict policies that govern how all data is handled.

Security and privacy are fundamental to the design of all our hardware, software, and services, including iCloud and new services like Apple Pay. And we continue to make improvements. Two-step verification, which we encourage all our customers to use, in addition to protecting your Apple ID account information, now also protects all of the data you store and keep up to date with iCloud.

We believe in telling you up front exactly what’s going to happen to your personal information and asking for your permission before you share it with us. And if you change your mind later, we make it easy to stop sharing with us. Every Apple product is designed around those principles. When we do ask to use your data, it’s to provide you with a better user experience.

We’re publishing this website to explain how we handle your personal information, what we do and don’t collect, and why. We’re going to make sure you get updates here about privacy at Apple at least once a year and whenever there are significant changes to our policies.

A few years ago, users of Internet services began to realize that when an online service is free, you’re not the customer. You’re the product. But at Apple, we believe a great customer experience shouldn’t come at the expense of your privacy.

Our business model is very straightforward: We sell great products. We don’t build a profile based on your email content or web browsing habits to sell to advertisers. We don’t “monetize” the information you store on your iPhone or in iCloud. And we don’t read your email or your messages to get information to market to you. Our software and services are designed to make our devices better. Plain and simple.

One very small part of our business does serve advertisers, and that’s iAd. We built an advertising network because some app developers depend on that business model, and we want to support them as well as a free iTunes Radio service. iAd sticks to the same privacy policy that applies to every other Apple product. It doesn’t get data from Health and HomeKit, Maps, Siri, iMessage, your call history, or any iCloud service like Contacts or Mail, and you can always just opt out altogether.

Finally, I want to be absolutely clear that we have never worked with any government agency from any country to create a backdoor in any of our products or services. We have also never allowed access to our servers. And we never will.

Our commitment to protecting your privacy comes from a deep respect for our customers. We know that your trust doesn’t come easy. That’s why we have and always will work as hard as we can to earn and keep it.

Tim

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