Data to the people!

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.

Put people (back) in control of their own data
Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies, 2020

Emerging technology trends

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.

What is SOLID?

  • 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.

SOLID is an ecosystem: it provides standards that enable interoperability
  • SOLID is a movement: the shift to decouple data from applications.
  • SOLID is a community: it requires cooperation between different people, companies and organisations.
  • SOLID has servers: it acts like a web server as well as supporting access control and linked data.

As a server, SOLID is application agnostic and allows for any service.

Few practical examples and use cases to show the full potential of SOLID

Find out more about them in detail in our whitepaper.

Grocery shopping

Grocery shopping
Moving house

Moving house
Your personal advisor

Your personal advisor
A personal information management company

A personal information management company
Work, jobs, vacancies and training

Work, jobs, vacancies and training
How has PwC Belgium contributed to this movement

How has PwC Belgium contributed to this movement 

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.

Contact us

Floris Ampe

Floris Ampe

Partner, PwC Belgium

Tel: +32 477 61 79 91

Pascal Tops

Pascal Tops

Partner, PwC Belgium

Tel: +32 473 91 03 68

Xavier Verhaeghe

Xavier Verhaeghe

Partner, Technology Consulting, PwC Belgium

Tel: +32 49 559 0840

Connect with PwC Belgium