by Tim Berners-Lee, CTO
I recently spoke at an online event held by the government of Flanders to explore how Inrupt and Solid are empowering Flemish citizens and companies to “once again be the masters of their own data.” I was honored to share the virtual stage with the Minister President of Flanders and Minister of Digitalisation, Jan Jambon.
As Inrupt, we’re proud to be working with the Flanders Government to build a service called “My Citizen Profile” on Solid. Through this program, every citizen will be given a Secure Data Store, which we call a Solid Pod, to serve as the home for their personal data, with the ability to determine who has access to data within it and when. The Prime Minister described how easy it would become for citizens to inform companies or the government about, for example, a new address if they’ve moved, or, say, to share their diploma with potential employers when job hunting. You could even register a new company. He talked about the value of data to boost the Flanders economy and the opportunities for “fantastic innovations” to come - with the right controls and self-determination in place, enabled by the Solid technology.
This collaboration between Inrupt, the government of Flanders and a group of aligned organizations is an outstanding example of how organizations, businesses, and people are thinking differently about sharing and connecting data, and the beneficial opportunities that will result. It echoes the progress of other forward-thinking organizations, like the UK NHS, BBC and NatWest, that Inrupt is partnering with to deliver valuable new services to their customers.
On behalf of Inrupt, I am proud to be part of this important milestone in Flemish history and grateful for all those who are contributing their time, passion, and expertise to making it a reality. By reconnecting people with data, we’re delivering on my vision of a web of personal and community benefit - for everyone - and it’s truly exciting to see this come to life in Flanders.