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Sir Tim Berners-Lee wants to save the internet

by on01 October 2018

Vanquishing big tech with lashings of open sauce

Tim Berners-Lee, the founder of the World Wide Web has a plan to rescue his creation from the clutches of big US tech.

The British computer scientist has announced a new project that he hopes will radically change his creation by giving people full control over their data.

Sir Tim has been working with a few people at MIT and elsewhere to develop Solid, an open source project to restore the power and agency of individuals on the web.

Solid changes the current model where users must hand over personal data to digital giants in exchange for perceived value.

“As we've all discovered, this hasn't been in our best interests. Solid is how we evolve the web to restore balance - by giving every one of us complete control over data, personal or not, in a revolutionary way", Sir Tim said.

Solid is a platform built using the existing web. It gives every user a choice about where data is stored, which specific people and groups can access select elements, and which apps you use.

It allows you, your family and colleagues, to link and share data with anyone. It allows people to look at the same data with different apps at the same time.

“Solid unleashes incredible opportunities for creativity, problem-solving and commerce. It will empower individuals, developers and businesses with entirely new ways to conceive, build and find innovative, trusted and beneficial applications and services. I see multiple market possibilities, including Solid apps and Solid data storage”, Sir Tim said.

He said Solid was guided by the principle of "personal empowerment through data" which is fundamental to the success of the next era of the web.

“We believe data should empower each of us. Imagine if all your current apps talked to each other, collaborating and conceiving ways to enrich and streamline your personal life and business objectives? That's the kind of innovation, intelligence and creativity Solid apps will generate. With Solid, you will have far more personal agency over data --you decide which apps can access it”, he said.

Starting this week, developers around the world can start building their own decentralised apps with tools through the Inrupt site.

Berners-Lee will spend this fall crisscrossing the globe, giving tutorials and presentations to developers about Solid and Inrupt.

"What's great about having a startup versus a research group is things get done", he said.


Last modified on 01 October 2018
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