A few weeks ago, Sir Tim Berners-Lee made the case for free data access for all, promoting the libertarian ideals of the early Web pioneers. As I remarked in my response, this is a wonderful idea, but it’s unrealistic: technologically, a free and open platform could generate a knowledge-sharing revolution reminiscent of the printing press, the telegraph and the television; socially, once you add the fallible human beings into the mix, such phenomenal freedom would be co-opted and corrupted, twisted by the various -isms that we project into virtuality. And unfortunately, this is where issues of data control gets messy and a little bit personal.

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