Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the world-wide-web, has announced plans to launch a new platform putting personal data back into the hands of users.
Working with engineers at MIT, Berners-Lee has been developing "Solid", an open source project which has spawned from his startup "Inrupt". It aims to tackle the misuse of users data by big tech companies by allowing individuals to decide where their data goes, who can see it and what apps have permission to access the data.
There have been a number of high-profile data scandals of late, most significantly Facebook's Cambridge Analytica scandal earlier this year which revealed that 50 million Facebook users' data was harvested without their consent. Berners-Lee has announced that he began working on this project as a way to tackle misuse of data.
"I've always believed the web is for everyone. That's why I and others fight fiercely to protect it," he stated. "The changes we've managed to bring have created a better and more connected world.
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"But for all the good we've achieved, the web has evolved into an engine of inequality and division; swayed by powerful forces who use it for their own agendas," he added. "Today, I believe we've reached a critical tipping point and that powerful change for the better is possible and necessary."
On the Solid model, users data exists in pods and are given the ability to decide if whether they want to grant third parties' access to the data.