Like most people who make use of the web, you probably use some free services like Facebook, Twitter, Google Chrome, Outlook, Gmail (the list goes on... basically we're talking about a product or service provided by an oversized tech power that demands your personal data in exchange for whatever they're peddling). Free services appear great on the surface but you are essentially selling your soul to these data tyrants so they can sell on your personal details to the lowest bidder. As the inventor of the web Tim Berners-Lee (TBL) states:
the web has evolved into an engine of inequity and division; swayed by powerful forces who use it for their own agendas
It's 2018 and we find ourselves in this dire situation, largely due to greed. It's toxic. Thankfully TBL has been working on a solution, called Solid, that aims to give web users more control over how their data is used and abused:
Solid changes the current model where users have to hand over personal data to digital giants in exchange for perceived value. As we’ve all discovered, this hasn’t been in our best interests. Solid is how we evolve the web in order to restore balance — by giving every one of us complete control over data, personal or not, in a revolutionary way
The main idea behind Solid is:
It gives every user a choice about where data is stored, which specific people and groups can access select elements, and which apps you use. It allows you, your family and colleagues, to link and share data with anyone. It allows people to look at the same data with different apps at the same time.
So while you may still need to disclose a certain level of personal information to use the services of Facebook for example, at least you will be in control of your own data, not Facebook. You set up a profile (known as a POD) on the Solid platform and then choose what info you want to share. I like it! And like TBL I'm looking forward to welcoming in the next era of the web.