Tim Berners-Lee Wants To Give Us Control Of The Internet

Tim Berners-Lee Wants To Give Us Control Of The Internet

Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, has not been hiding his disappointment with the direction in which his invention was taken.

The Solid pods are hosted on Solid-enabled Web servers, which can be run by the user at home (or workplace) or by a online Solid pod provider (there are now two).

"The web has evolved into an engine of inequity and division; swayed by powerful forces who use it for their own agendas", he noted in a recently published post, in which he announced Solid, a new open source project that he hopes will fix what's now wrong with the web.

Currently, a huge amount of personal data is kept on centralised servers run by the likes of Google and Facebook and shared with other companies or organisations for commercial gain.

"The web has evolved into an engine of inequity and division, swayed by powerful forces who use it for their own agendas", wrote Sir Tim, on a blog on the Medium website.

As Fast Company explained in an exclusive published over the weekend, Solid will decentralize the web by returning control of personal data to each individual user - and out of the hands of the Internet giants.

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"People want apps that help them do what they want and need to do - without spying on them", wrote Sir Tim. It means that developers can create apps run on data owned and controlled entirely by the user, who has complete agency when it comes to deciding how and where to store that data - and, importantly, who to share it with.

People could have more than one pod for different purposes or types of data, he said. It also supports data portability through standards so you can easily move from one app to another without having to mess around with data migration hassles.

Solid could help to make the web closer to the way it was originally envisioned, said Sir Tim. "We are not asking their permission".

The Oxford-educated Berners-Lee, 63, spent years working on the project at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where, along with Oxford, he is a computer-science professor. Inrupt will lay the infrastructure that will allow Solid to thrive.

"Do we know what proportion of personal data is generated without the individual's involvement?"

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