In 2018, British computer scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee; aka the inventor of the internet, launched project Solid. The purpose behind it being to save the internet from what it had become.
It just became known that Solid’s software Inrupt had hired cryptography expert Bruce Schneier.
Bruce Schneier is a renowned security expert and privacy advocate, known for his blog Schneier on Security and the many books he’s authored.
The idea behind Solid is rather simple, but revolutionary.
Solid allows each user to have their own “Pod”, which is essentially the hub or vault of all their personal information, completely owned and controlled by the user. Your Pod lives locally on your device and you only allow access to who you want.
According to Schneier’s blog post in which he shared news of his hire: “Your data lives in a Pod that is controlled by you. Data generated by your things – your computer, your phone, your IoT whatever – is written to your Pod. You authorize granular access to that Pod to whoever you want for whatever reason you want. Your data is no longer in a bazillion places on the internet, controlled by you-have-no-idea-who. It’s yours.”
“If you want your insurance company to have access to your fitness data, you grant it through your pod,” he continues. “If you want your friends to have access to your vacation photos, you grant it through your pod. If you want your thermostat to share data with your air conditioner, you give both of them access through your pod.”
Schneier believes, as does Solid, that this will give users back the power and control over their own data: “This will fundamentally alter the balance of power in a world where everything is a computer, and everything is producing data about you.”