Web 2.5: The Symbiotic Web

14 Pages Posted: 23 Apr 2011

See all articles by Paul A. Bernal

Paul A. Bernal

University of East Anglia (UEA) - Norwich Law School

Date Written: March 1, 2010


A new form of symbiosis is developing on the Web. The current ecommerce model, which relies heavily on the supply of 'free' content, has made individuals and commercial enterprises mutually dependent: enterprises have built business models reliant on a currency of personal data, while individuals expect free access to services supplied by search engines, email systems and social networking sites, and media services such as YouTube and Hulu. These 'free' services use personal data to generate revenues through targeted advertising, profile building, and the direct brokering of personal data. The symbiosis is essentially benign - it lies behind many recent positive developments. Both users and the businesses that provide online services benefit. Nevertheless, there are significant risks associated with this symbiotic nature that need to be addressed. This paper will describe the model that is the Symbiotic Web, explain the risks associated with it, and suggest possible approaches to address them.

Keywords: autonomy, personal data, Internet, Web 2.5

Suggested Citation

Bernal, Paul A., Web 2.5: The Symbiotic Web (March 1, 2010). International Review of Law, Computers & Technology, Vol. 24, No. 1, p. 25, 2010, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1582501

Paul A. Bernal (Contact Author)

University of East Anglia (UEA) - Norwich Law School ( email )

Norwich NR4 7TJ, Norfolk
United Kingdom

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