A practical approach
What if you were in control of all your personal data? Or rather, what would happen if everyone exercised their General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rights as citizens and started to ask for their data everywhere?
What if companies didn’t need to worry about GDPR anymore? What if we could prevent digital dictatorships, by both corporations and governments?
These questions and the ideas that ensued occurred to PwC in 2018, at a time when the GDPR was all over the news and all organisations were required to comply. Like any good idea, we were not the only ones to think of it... We soon discovered that Sir Tim Berners Lee had already launched an initiative under the name, SOLID: SOcial LInked Data.
The idea’s very simple: put people (back) in control of their own data.
Gartner identifies technologies that enable a composable enterprise and aspire to regain society's trust, as well as artificial intelligence (AI)-assisted design, as some of the top technologies to watch in its Hype cycle for emerging technologies, 2020 (August 2020). The study also places “Digital me” as one of the five emerging trends for the next decade.
Not content to just follow the ongoing and growing buzz, we wanted to contribute.
The idea has been picked up in Flanders, Belgium and Europe as well.
SOLID starts with the decoupling of data and applications so data can stay with the rightful owner.
SOLID is a set of standards so it’s not a company or a platform, and can be used by anyone in many forms.
SOLID is an ecosystem: it provides standards that enable interoperability.
As a server, SOLID is application agnostic and allows for any service.
Find out more about them in detail in our whitepaper.
At PwC, we recognise the true potential of this paradigm shift; how it can build trust and solve important problems.
Joining this digital revolution and supporting Flanders and Europe in developing this idea are the crucial next steps to keep the momentum going. But we’d also like to see initiatives coming from the business side of things to complete the quadruple helix: government, academia, citizen and business involvement.
The role of a consulting company is clear: identify good use cases, plausible monetisation and business models and methods for companies and government institutions to make the shift and encourage start-ups to join this wave.