Web creator says firms need to become more transparent with data.
Businesses must start sharing data more openly with partners to improve efficiency, according to web creator Sir Tim Berners-Lee.
He used his opening keynote at IP Expo today to urge companies to share private, confidential data with third-parties in order to succeed in a world where more and more business processes are automated.
Berners-Lee said: "By gently opening up your data to partners and agreeing to exchange very specific, very confidential, valuable data with business partners, you can improve your business."
He said firms will need to become more open in the ways they use their own data, claiming the near future will see increasing amounts of "the whole economy" run by computer automation.
"In the new world it’s not just about getting data, it’s about being very transparent up and down the supply chain to predict when you’re going to get a shortfall somewhere. All that data is going to have to open up because computers will be doing all the planning. Your computer will need to talk to other computers in your business," he claimed.
But he insisted privacy was still important, but people fearful of sharing personal data with companies and third-parties must realise their data is less important to those firms than it is to themselves.
"That data is more valuable to me than to whatever in the cloud is going to use it to build targeted advertising," he said, adding that sharing personal data will create opportunities for entrepreneurs to create apps that can improve our quality of life.
"We will be able to write really neat apps that really help me live life in a more healthy way, help me buy presents for nephews and nieces," he said.
He added: "Data is exciting for me because it’s the way I collaborate. When I move a date in my calendar and other poeple see that date move, that is collaborating.
"The future of the world there involves data in lots and lots of different ways."
Berners-Lee, who created the world wide web 25 years ago, also spoke on the topic of net neutrality and cautioned against internet service providers creating a two-tier internet where they slow down access to certain websites, saying they could "hold you to ransom", but added that "where they do do that, the public come down on them like a tonne of bricks".
"Net neutrality is really important, you don’t have to worry about something in the internet throttling your latest app," he said, adding it would require everyone fighting to keep it open to benefit both the public and businesses.