I think that we all agree that Solid is an important step for better data management from a human perspective.
However, we notice that some people struggle to clearly pinpoint why this is the case.
That is why, in this video, I will explain the theory behind this statement.
The most important concept in personal information management theory is probably that of a personal space of information or a personal data space. We each have only one personal data space encompassing all possible information that exists about us.
As a person, when it comes down to your personal data space, there are, in general, two aspects that we strive for: control over what happens with the data in our personal data space and transparency over what this data was used for.
Having control over the data in our personal data space means not only that you have control over the files on your own computer, but also that you have a say in what organisations do with your data, that you can reuse your data from one organisation at another or even that you can indicate that your data may not be used anymore.
Having transparency about your data is about knowing which organisations store a copy of your data, how these organisations use or have used your data, how it is handled and even how it is stored.
To control the data in our personal data space and to get more transparency over it, we require tools that we could use in our daily lives.
However, in order for such a tool to be used for such a purpose, it must be useful and easy to use.
Useful means that that the tool must, among other factors, include as much data from our personal data space as possible and give us the right controls and view on our data that we require to get more control and transparency.
Easy to use means that it must have an intuitive design, an appealing interface and easily accessible.
There are currently a lot of tools that try to provide a view on our personal data space such as MyAT&T, MyWalmart and MyWellsFargo, ...
Nevertheless, these tools typically only shed light on just a small part of our personal data spaces: the information about you that is stored at those specific organisations. This means that such tools are only useful to a certain degree. In order to be truly useful, a tool should be able to display as much information from your personal data space as possible.
This is why, for us, people, Solid is such a breakthrough technology.
From a human perspective, the Solid standard allows developers to create apps that give people a unified view over their data, even if this data is stored at different parties such as their government, bank and even social media account.
This means that Solid provides the infrastructure so people can access a personal data space that will actually be used and therefore gives people more transparency and control.