A so-called “father of the internet” has warned that huge amounts of online data could be lost in years to come.
Vint Cerf, who is currently a vice-president at Google, said he is worried that as certain technologies become out of date and obsolete, large amounts of data will become inaccessible as a result.
Speaking to the BBC, he stated: “Old formats of documents that we’ve created or presentations may not be readable by the latest version of the software because backwards compatibility is not always guaranteed.
“And so what can happen over time is that even if we accumulate vast archives of digital content, we may not actually know what it is”
Mr Cerf said this could potentially lead to a “digital Dark Age”, in which little or no record of the 21st century remains.
The internet expert, who was talking at science conference in San Jose, California, is promoting the concept of a “digital vellum”, which would preserve every piece of software and hardware in digital form on the cloud. That way, data would remain accessible despite the technological advancements that will take place in years to come.
It has also been revealed this week that US president Barack Obama is to urge businesses to share more data with the country’s government in order to tackle the threat of cyber crime.
A White House statement has been issued that reveals Obama is set to sign an advisory executive order that will encourage the establishment of information sharing and analysis organisations through which companies and authorities can exchange information regarding security breaches.