No paying with user data: Small web as an alternative to Facebook

No paying with user data: Small web as an alternative to Facebook


Barbara Wimmer

A public park online instead of a shopping center: How a programmer wants to create an alternative to Big Tech.

Kein Bezahlen mit Userdaten: Small Web als Alternative to Facebook

The programmer and internet thinker Aral Balkan wants to make the digital world sustainable and decentralized.He has been working on solutions for years to achieve this.At the "Privacy Week", an online conference of the Chaos Computer Club Vienna (C3W) for more privacy in the digital age, he showed a demo of his project "Small Web".This project wants to make the Internet a "public park” again, which everyone can go to without consuming anything or having to give data on it."We can design technology differently than it is common in Silicon Valley," said Balkan at the presentation.The programmer founded the "Small Technology Foundation", which has set itself the goal of increasing human well -being with technology, and not the profits of companies.

Alternative to Facebook

With his "Small Web” project, he would like to create a public space that can be used by everyone, but which is as easy to use as to call up a domain on the web.On small web.Org has not yet been seen much, but Balkan showed at the "Privacy Week", which he has been working on for almost a year.However, the user interface for the "normal user*in" is not yet finished.He showed how small organizations can use the "small web", for example to put on decentralized servers that can then be used to generate social links and profiles."The small web is about everyone can control their online presence," said Balkan.The "small web" should also be interoperable and users should also be able to move with their content."With the project we don't want to create a competition with Big Tech, but offer an alternative to use the web away from the great tech services from the Silicon Valley," said Balkan.Facebook or.Metas (the group recently renamed itself) goal of wanting to network all people is a lie, says Balkan: "Instead, Facebook aims to network all people with Facebook."He wants to give people back their digital rights and control on the Internet, in which they can decide which data they share with whom.In his view, however, it would need a special type of regulation: it suggests the GDMR, a general data minimalization regulation, i.e. a law, by the data used by humans, left privately and encrypted on the device andare not shared with the providers.According to the Balkans, that would be "easy” in the EU, but was not desirable.He had already given lectures to this idea in front of the EU Parliament several times.His reason why we would need something like this: "We always talk about data about something that has nothing to do with us.We are actually data.We humans and the devices are extensions from us, regardless of whether this is the smartphone, or an implanted chip, or a household robot in the smart home."

Disappointed by Apple

Für Balkan sind Unternehmen wie Facebook, Google, aber auch Apple - also Konzerne, die im Silicon Valley angesiedelt sind - unter dem Begriff „Big Tech" zu summieren. „Big Tech ist ein Virus, Small Tech die Impfung", erläuterte er in seinem Vortrag.Balkan is now particularly disappointed by Apple.“A few years ago, I recommended to everyone instead of relying on Apple on Android. Ich habe propagiert, dass man bei Android-Smartphones selbst zum Produkt wird, wenn man alle Google-Dienste auf dem Smartphone aktiviert und bei Apple zahlt man für das Smartphone, aber die eigene Privatsphäre bleibt danach geschützt", erklärte Balkan. „Doch jetzt ist Apple von diesem Weg abgekommen", so der Netzaktivist.On the one hand, it is now known that Apple in China is compromising with the regime in the encryption of users, according to Balkan.As a protector of privacy, the group makes itself unbelievable.On the other hand, Apple had announced that all the pictures of the users should be scanned in the future according to child pornography.For the comparison, a file with so -called "hashes" of such photos is to be loaded on the devices - a kind of digital fingerprint of the picture.A similar photo can be seen, but it cannot be restored from the hash.„Diese Ankündigung ist ein Dammbruch", so Balkan.“I have lost any trust in Apple with that." Mit der Einführung von Scans privater iOS-Geräte wird die Tür für weitere staatliche Überwachungsmaßnahmen geöffnet.Although the system mentioned by Apple "NeuralMatch" is to be officially only used for the search for pictures of sexual child abuse, it could also be adapted in theory in the theory in the scans in the kind of pictures and texts.Even the meta -verse does not cut off well in the Balkans."What Facebook or. Meta plant, ist, eine Erweiterung der Möglichkeit, noch mehr Emotionen der Nutzer*innen an Geschäftskunden zu vermieten und damit Profit zu machen", sagte der Netzaktivist. Aus seiner Sicht gelte es daher, Alternativen zu „Big Tech" zu schaffen.