updated: 20-11-2020 | 10:25
If you're not happy with Google, Facebook, Apple, Amazon & Microsoft owning and controlling your data and online behaviour, Sir Tim Berners-Lee's startup, Inrupt, might have the answer.
Ethical web principles
Berners-Lee, who famously created the web while working at CERN, has announced the first enterprise-ready version of Inrupt's Enterprise Solid Server, an open-source program that aims to put into practice the World Wide Web Consortium's (WC3) Ethical Web Principles.
Inrupt wants to transform the web and take away the control that now rests with a few tech giants. Inrupt uses so-called 'pods' – best compared to a personal USB stick for the web. The pods are not locked to a single platform which would give users control to access and use their personal data.
High-profile launching partners
Inrupt was launched by Berners-Lee and fellow co-founder and CEO John Bruce to put into practice the Solid open-source project, which gives users control over where their data is stored and how third parties can access that data.
Solid has a handful of high-profile early adopters, including NatWest Bank, the BBC and the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK. This helps to show how Solid pods can be used to solve real-world problems, improve privacy for individuals and help with business transformation using the web in a different way.
"Bring back creativity, collaboration and free invention"
According to Berners-Lee, big tech and the way it's used private data have not only led to problems for end users via massive data breaches but have also spurred legislators to create burdensome privacy regulations, such as Europe's General Data Protection Regulation and the California Privacy Act.
"The web was always meant to be a platform for creativity, collaboration, and free invention – but that's not what we are seeing today," said Berners-Lee on the Inrupt website.
Photo: Tom Berners-Lee (credit: Paul Clarke, CC BY-SA 4.0)