I often hear people say that they have no control of their data, that their data is being monetized by big companies, that they don’t know what those companies are doing with their data, that they are frustrated when they receive notification that their data has been compromised, and they didn’t even know that company had their data in the first place.
Unfortunately, many people throw up their hands and give up trying to control their data, who has it and who is monetizing it. Their attitude is that the train has left the station already and the cows are out of the barn.
Enter Sir Tim Berners-Lee (who you might remember has been credited with creating the web 28 years ago). Berners-Lee is as frustrated as others, and has started a new open source project with the goal to put the control of individuals’ data back in the hands of the individual.
The project is called Solid (https://medium.com/@timberners_lee/one-small-step-for-the-web). According to Berners-Lee, his goal for Solid is to change “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.”
He further states that Solid is “guided by the principle of ‘personal empowerment through data’ which we believe is fundamental to the success of the next era of the Web. We believe data should empower each of us…and you will have far more personal agency over data—you decide which apps can access it.”
Right now, it is just a framework, but the goal is that eventually Solid will be part of the “fabric of the web.” Rock on.
Privacy attitudes are changing. Technology is evolving, laws are changing, and when you think about it, the digital world is still in its infancy. Solid is a unique platform that is worth watching.