How expensive will the future cost?
After Dr. Schmidt’s presentation, everyone ought to have understood how platforms work. What they are doing, however, is not yet clear. Jörg Schieb, IT and online expert for WDR and digital expert for ARD, dealt with this issue. He is regarded as a solid analyst and has been an observer of the online industry since its inception. However, he not only questions existing systems such as Google, Amazon, Facebook and Co., but also thinks about the development of the Internet infrastructure and takes a critical look at the trends – especially with regard to the social consequences.
“We must get away from this no-cost insanity,” demanded Schieb, presenting the symposium participants with various approaches in his exclusive pre-note and explaining his vision of the “Internet of the Future” and its infrastructure. This is because the formula “Everything is free – therefore I get your data” is becoming increasingly problematic. “By now we should have understood that everything on the Internet seems to be free, but that we also give something away – and not just our data. We also give away our attention, life time, and sometimes our health as well. We are usually not even aware of it. But above all it is the personal data that is given,” explained Jörg Schieb. The worst thing is that nobody controls what ultimately happens with this data. And most people don’t seem to care.
“We’ve already reached the end of privacy,” Schieb said. Although this is not desirable, it is a fact. But nobody seems to care about it. “If Marc Zuckerberg now demands better regulation on the Internet, that’s strategy,” said Schieb. He has not gone from Saul to Paul either, but has once again made a clever move, played for time and simply wishes to shift responsibility away from himself.
“And we will continue to be exploited for a long time,” said Schieb. And he is not alone with his opinion. The inventor of the World Wide Web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee said publicly that he is ashamed, he is embarrassed by the Web in its present state. And another Internet pioneer, Jaron Lanier, has called for radical change.
“There are two radically different principles of thought,” explained Jörg Schieb. ” First: Everything is free of charge without advertising and commerce – but then nothing really gets paid. Perhaps one could curate something for the public-legally, against a fee. Then no more data would have to be moved out and all services would serve the common good. That would be the socialist Internet”, says Schieb. “And then there is the capitalist Internet, in which everyone has to pay. No hidden costs and everyone receives money for his or her services – including the users for postings, photos, likes and retweets. Everything has a transparent price”.
Both systems have advantages and disadvantages. The ideal would therefore be the best of both worlds, said Jörg Schieb: “No control by states. Because then there is the danger that the state will orient itself to its own interests. Complete transparency and control for users. Data has a value and not only corporate entities profit. Intelligent regulation would also have to be established and issues such as data protection and privacy would have to be anchored by the UN”.
There are already attempts to regain control. “Solid” is one such project. But just one project. ” However, we must act now. The big five will otherwise crush everything”, Jörg Schieb analyzed. Experience has shown that everything that is technically feasible is being done. And what could go wrong will go wrong. We are currently experiencing it.