Web 2.0: Bernal, P. A. (2010) Web 2.5: the symbiotic web. International review of law, computers & technology, 24 (1). pp. 25-37.


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.

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