Without doubt,within Europe, Germany seems to have the greatest concerns with regards to privacy and so far much of the debate has focused on “what you potentially lose” by making information about you or your street public. Jeff counters this with the opposite opposite argument “what you gain” from making knowledge public.
This will remain one of most important web memes of the next few years as it goes to the heart of what has made the web so influential to our lives so far, but also how that may change in the future.
This is nothing less than a battle for the soul of the web.
The open web based on the concept of open access to information, ideas and knowledge is not guaranteed by any means, and we may need to do more than just watch the traditional holders of power in society start to shut down the elements of the internet they feel threatened by.
The appalling Digital Economy Bill passed in the UK is just the one element of this, the move to accesses information through applications and portals only threatens a return to the world of walled gardens we thought we had moved beyond with the closure of AOL and CompuServe, is another.
The danger of regressing to a world where access to information is again controlled by a powerful few is increasingly real !