Data Ownership by Decoupling Storage from Service

Blockchain isn’t the only revolution for decentralizing the Internet these days. Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the web, is developing technology called Solid that will separate data from the apps that use it.

The Solid vision leads to a Facebook-like app that no longer controls all your social data and healthcare records that are under your control rather than your HMO’s. The Solid approach to building apps requires a bit of a change in perspective so that apps essentially turn into views into underlying data that is controlled by the user:

Decentralization requires the nature of applications to evolve from silos to shared views. As shown in the figure below, current Web apps combine data and service. Because of this coupling, our LinkedIn contacts cannot comment on our Facebook pictures, and an rsvp on a Facebook event will not be reflected in our Doodle calendar’s availability. Decentralized applications, on the other hand, act as views on top of our data pod and those of others. When granted specific access rights, photos uploaded into our data pod by a photo gallery application can be accessed by a social feed app. Events in my personal calendar that have public visibility can show up in the same feed. Our friends can view the parts of our data to which we grant them access through whatever application they wish to use.

Re-decentralizing the Web, for good this time by Ruben Verborgh

To find out more about Solid, visit the Inrupt website, check the project out on Github, or join the Solid Community Forum.

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