Tim Berners-Lee – the creator of the Internet (the World Wide Web format to be exact) – is set to give personal data back to the people through his open source project, called Solid, that will give people a decentralized platform to store their data.
He’s collaborating with people at MIT on a new startup called Inrupt, that will oversee the development of Solid.
Solid gives you direct control over your data. By using apps that have it built-in, your data won’t have to go through some other entity, like Facebook, and you’ll be able to view it, edit it, and share it as you please.
The idea is similar to cryptocurrency, where the transactions are dealt with using block-chain principles.
Berners-Lee is calling it the “next era of the web”, and says that now is the best time to give the data back to its rightful owners. He explained in his post,
Solid changes the current model where users have to hand over personal data to digital giants in exchange for perceived value. As we’ve all discovered, this hasn’t been in our best interests. Solid is how we evolve the web in order to restore balance – by giving every one of us complete control over data, personal or not, in a revolutionary way.
The good thing is that it’ll be up to you to decide who sees and edits your data. You can also view the same data from two different apps, and even share it with anyone you want without having to, say, sending it over Facebook or Instagram. It’ll go straight to the user without anyone else peeking.
Using Solid, the web will become free for the people to use. They’ll be able to utilize its storage capacity as well as use other Internet services that are usually sold online for a subscription fee, services such as Google Drive.
People want to have a web they can trust. People want apps that help them do what they want and need to do – without spying on them. Apps that don’t have an ulterior motive of distracting them with propositions to buy this or that. People will pay for this kind of quality and assurance. For example, today people pay for storage in places like Dropbox.
You can get your own decentralized drive, called Solid pod (personal online data), on Inrupt’s website. It’s currently a basic-looking webpage where you can keep notes, conversations, and other logs that only you can view. You can also share the content of your pod with other users.
Get a Solid pod by visiting its website here.