User data safety: Tim Berners-Lee’s Inrupt launches enterprise version of Solid privacy platform

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Updated: Nov 10, 2020 11:33 PM

Inrupt was launched three years ago by Berners-Lee as part of his open source project, and the company is run by John Bruce.

This is a leap in preserving user data and keeping it safe from being exploited by malicious users. (Image: Reuters)

Inrupt startup: World Wide Web founder Tim Berners-Lee’s startup Inrupt has announced Solid privacy platform’s enterprise version. With this version, governments as well as large organisations would be able to develop applications allowing users to be in control of their data. The founder of WWW has for long been an advocate of free and open web, however, several large giants have been founded over the past two decades that earn revenue based on user’s data. Now, Berners-Lee has made the first step towards making people be in control of their data with the MIT-developed Solid open source project.

Inrupt was launched three years ago by Berners-Lee as part of his open source project, and the company is run by John Bruce. Both of them believe in shifting data ownership, all while keeping the manner in which websites are developed the same.

With the Solid open source project, developers would be able to stick to the same standards as well as methods to build sites and the applications would work in any browser. The only change Solid hopes to bring is to shift the data power into the hands of the user.

The main idea behind Berners-Lee’s approach is allowing users to control their data with the help of online storage entities called Pods or Personal Online Data Stores. For the enterprise version, the Pods are managed by Solid Server. The developers would be able to develop applications with the help of SDK so as to use Pods and access the data required for any particular job like paying taxes or interacting with healthcare providers. The company has ensured that the enterprise version remained compatible with the specifications of the open source Solid project.

Inrupt has worked with large organisations like the National Health Service in the UK, BBC and Belgium’s Government of Flanders before they launched the solution in the market.

So how does the solution work?

The UK’s National Health Service developed an app to enable patients to interact with them. With the Solid-based app, the users would be able to control their health data, allowing doctors, family and caregivers to access certain data from their Solid Pods. They would also be able to add notes and observations that the caregivers or doctors would be able to read to improve the treatment.

While the remaining features are similar to traditional apps and websites, like adding notes and observations, with this app, it would be up to the user to decide who would be able to access his data. The application owner would have to get users’ explicit approval to access their data.

This is a leap in preserving user data and keeping it safe from being exploited by malicious users.

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