Facebook & Google adopt Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s ‘contract for the web’

An ambitious ‘contract for the web’ championed by Sir Tim Berners-Lee has received some high-profile traction after both Facebook and Google signed up the new, tightened, set of internet standards.

The world wide web founder has personally designed the document which places the onus of responsibility on internet firms to respect the data privacy of their users in response to a succession of scandals and the mushrooming of fake news, hate speech and trolling.

In extracts of an address to the Web Summit tech conference in Lisbon, Berners-Lee wrote: “Those of us who are online are seeing our rights and freedoms threatened. We need a new contract for the web, with clear and tough responsibilities for those who have the power to make it better.”

Close to 60 companies have agreed to the charter including the French government and entrepreneur Richard Branson but many other companies remain notable by their absence, including Amazon.

Currently a set of high-level aspirations for a ‘free and open web’ but these will be further refined to provide a set of detailed standards in consultation with government and industry.

Berners-Lee has previously described 'unethical' online political advertising as one of the greatest threats posed by the internet.