Inventor of the World Wide Web wants to ensure you have total control over your data

Solid Pods
(Image credit: Inrupt)

After launching his new startup three years ago, World Wide Web founder Sir Tim Berners-Lee has announced that the enterprise version of Inrupt's Solid Server is now available.

Inrupt was created to deliver on Sir Tim Berners-Lee's original vision of a free and open web that is available to everyone as the company's technology allows organizations and governments to build applications that put users back in control of their data. Lee did so by building Inrupt on top of MIT's open source project Solid which is “a proposed set of conventions and tools for building decentralized social applications based on Linked Data principles”. 

Solid lets users choose where their data resides and who is allowed to access it by decoupling content from applications. As a user's data is no longer tied to a particular application, they can seamlessly switch between apps and personal data storage servers without losing their data or social connections while avoiding vendor lock-in.

In a press release, Sir Tim Berners-Lee provided further insight on what led him to create Inrupt in the first place, saying:

“The web was always meant to be a platform for creativity, collaboration, and free invention - but that’s not what we are seeing today. Today, business transformation is hampered by different parts of one’s life being managed by different silos, each of which looks after one vertical slice of life, but where the users and teams can’t get the insight from connecting that data. Meanwhile, that data is exploited by the silo in question, leading to increasing, very reasonable, public skepticism about how personal data is being misused.” 

Personal Online Data Stores

In order for users to gain greater control of their personal data online Inrupt uses Personal Online Data Stores or Pods for short. These Solid Pods are used to store a user's data across applications, websites and more so that their data stays with them regardless of which platform or software they use.

With the company's Enterprise Solid Server, developers will be able to build applications using an SDK that allows them to take advantage of Inrupt's Pods and access the data they contain. The main difference between Pods and conventional apps is the fact that a user decides who can access their information and app developers would need explicit permission from a user to do so.

Inrupt already has a trusted cohort of early adopters using its technology including the BBC, NatWest Bank, the NHS and the Flanders Government.

Now that the company has made its Enterprise Solid Server available to organizations, businesses can begin creating applications that will leverage Inrupt's Pods and hopefully usher in a new era of data ownership for consumers.

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Via TechCrunch

Anthony Spadafora

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.