If you’re into the world of data sharing and personal data pods, you’ve surely heard of Solid and MyData. But what do these initiatives entail and how do they relate to each other? Find out in this blog post!
About MyData and Solid
The MyData operators initiative is a group of organizations that collaborate to promote the use of personal data in a way that’s respectful of the individual’s privacy and control. It strives for interoperability and a human-centric approach.
The Solid protocol is one of the technologies used by the MyData operators to enable individuals to store and share their personal data in a decentralized way, allowing them to maintain control over their data and decide how it is used.
A shared human-centric mission
The Solid protocol and MyData Global have one crucial thing in common: their shared mission of giving a user their control back over their data. Both initiatives aim to drastically improve data usage transparency and data access control. They empower users by putting them at the center and letting them manage the access to their own data. Solid fully supports the principles laid out by MyData.
A different approach
They do, however, define the way to reach that common goal differently. MyData Global defines general principles that people and organisations should adhere to through its MyData Declaration and reference model.
The Solid protocol, on the other hand, is a set of technical specifications that details how to achieve the desired result. Whereas MyData describes general data governance principles, even for offline purposes, Solid defines how data is managed on the web.
The advantages of Solid
Solid is the perfect protocol to reach the MyData initiative’s goals of human-centricity and interoperability. It enables the re-use of data through the principle ‘input once, re-use many times’ and allows splitting the data from the application.
Solid defines exactly what you should do to be compatible with other actors. It’s an open set of specifications: anyone can use and apply the rules to be part of this data sharing world. They are draft specifications of the W3C that also defines the internet protocols like www, html, http and so on.
The adoption of the Solid protocol is on the rise. Aside from the proof of concepts done by the BBC and the NHS in the UK, the Swedish Employment agency and Flemish Government are adopting Solid as the main protocol to share personal data in a human-centric way. The Flemish Government has even recently launched Athumi, the Flemish data utility company. Athumi got over 20 million euros worth of funding to work on its mission to make data flow more efficiently in the economy.
Several other initiatives and other MyData Operators exist as well, like use.id by Digita. Privacy platform Geens.com is also adopting the protocol as a means to make their infrastructure more easily accessible and interconnected with each other.
The Solid protocol and its use of WebID's and decentralized data completely align with the goals of the My Data operators initiative. It empowers individuals to manage their own personal data in a way that respects their privacy and control. Applying the technical specifications that the Solid protocol details is a suitable way of adhering to the MyData guidelines, and many organizations have started to adopt Solid.