Sir Tim Berners-Lee and John Bruce, CEO of Inrupt, have developed the Personal Online Data Store (POD), or “Solid Pod”, to give individuals more control over their data.
The POD allows users to store all their data in one place and decide which people and applications can access it, rather than having it spread across various apps and websites. The POD is being tested by the Belgian government and the UK’s National Health Service, and the BBC has used it for “watch parties”, allowing users to see what data has been generated and choose whether to delete or edit it or allow the BBC to use it.
Users can get a Pod from different providers, such as Amazon, or run their own server, if they have they the technical know-how. The main attraction to self-hosting is control and privacy, says Berners-Lee.
Not only is user data safe from corporations, and governments, it’s also less likely to be stolen by hackers, Bruce says.
Inrupt raised $30m in December 2021 and Berners-Lee hopes the platform will give control back to internet users and enable the development of “Web 3”.