Sir Tim Berners-Lee, best known as the inventor of the World Wide Web, was the star speaker at Mozilla Festival 2018.
He told a packed room at London’s Ravensbourne College about his latest project, Solid, an open source platform built to decentralise the web, saying it aims to give internet users: “the freedom to choose where their data resides and who is allowed to access it”.
But he was far from the only attraction at the annual tech-focused festival, with thousands turning up to learn about new technologies and gain new skills, among them how to build an open source smart home and how to recognise false stories spread after natural disasters, like volcanic eruptions.
There were a number of other screenings, workshops, participant-led sessions and talks, many organised around this year’s theme, “Data Done Right”, with the emphasis on participants taking control of their data and their online lives. The Privacy and Security Space was popular, with people learning from the people of TOR and OCCRP how to stay anonymous online, while other topics covered included psychometric profiling and mobile tracking.
The festival lasted a full week, with Mozfest House opening its doors at the Royal Society of the Arts in central London on the 22nd of October, providing an opportunity for talks, workshops and films, before the main event took place on the weekend of the 26th-28th.
The first Mozfest was held in Barcelona in 2010, with just a few hundred turning up. Its growth since then a sign that an increasing number of people have a serious interest in the future of the internet, how it can be used to benefit humanity, and how that power can easily be abused.