Taking back control of your data, plans from Sir Tim Berners-Lee

We take the internet for granted, how Google structures our searching, Facebook our friending, Twitter our talking. On the brink of news this week, Berners-Lee will launch Inrupt, a startup he has been building. Its mission: to decentralise the web and take back power from the forces that have profited from centralising it. Facebook, Google, Amazon might feel the ground shake. Berners-Lee dreams of individuals controlling their own data, where the internet remains free and open. He wants to give users more personal control over their data and apps using his new platform, Solid.

Within the Solid ecosystem, you decide where you store your data. Photos you take, comments you write, contacts in your address book, calendar events, how many miles you run each day from your fitness tracker… they’re all stored in your Solid POD. This Solid POD can be in your house or workplace, or with an online Solid POD provider of your choice. Since you own your data, you’re free to move it at any time, without interruption of service.

You give people and your apps permission to read or write to parts of your Solid POD. So whenever you’re opening up a new app, you don’t have to fill out your details ever again: they are read from your POD with your permission. Things saved through one app are available in another: you never have to sync, because your data stays with you.

This approach protects your privacy and is also great for developers: they can build cool apps without harvesting massive amounts of data first. Anyone can create an app that leverages what is already there.

Following the news of a massive data breach at Facebook which affected over 50 million users, Berners-Lee’s announcement was well-timed. Watch this space, Berner-Lee could be turning over our digital world.