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Owning your own data

Gareth Cartman

This is perhaps more a wish than a prediction. However, Tim BernersLee - the inventor of the Internet - is working on a project called Solid that may help make this wish a reality.

We witnessed a number of major data breaches in 2018 (and perhaps many of us were victims) - to the point that we almost casually accept them. Facebook seems not to care too much about losing your data, and the personal details of 1.1bn Indians are available for just 500 rupees.

Even Quora managed to lose the details of 100 million users recently, so if you signed up to answer one question and forgot about it, like 99 million others, then your data might be for sale on the dark web, right now.

The point of Solid (which stands for SOciallyLInked-Data) is that you own your data, and decide who gets access to it. See it as an evolution of the web, rather than a replacement - a platform for developers.

This is no small thing, when you take into account the fact that levels of suspicion regarding websites and their ulterior motives are growing.

We already know that shady individuals are advertising to niche audiences on social media. We also know that shady businesses are desperate for our data - it’s all over the news.

This is creating an acknowledged and growing need for personal data security; we like to keep our bank details secure, we keep our files locked down, and we keep our physical items in storage behind lock and key. Why not our personal data?

We could very soon be moving to a model whereby we have ownership over our personal and even behavioural data, and it’s down to us as to whether we share that with websites (or not) in a secure manner.

Could 2019 be the year we begin rebuilding our trust in the web?