Tim Berners-Lee startup releases decentralisation tech to enterprises

Roll-out of Inrupt’s decentralised privacy technology to four large organisations is helping the startup to develop explicit use cases, which it hopes will prove the tech and lead to faster adoption

Inrupt, a startup launched by World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee, has developed an enterprise-grade version of its decentralised web technology, allowing businesses and government organisations to build applications that give customers and users greater control of their personal data.

A handful of early-adopter clients – including NatWest Bank, the BBC, the Flanders government in Belgium and the NHS – have already begun piloting potential use cases for Inrupt’s Enterprise Solid Server (ESS).

The development marks an expansion of the company’s Solid Privacy Platform, which allows users to choose how and where their data is stored, as well as who has access to it, through the use of personal online data stores (Pods).

For the enterprise version, the Pods are held in the organisation’s Solid Server, but with the caveat that it is up to the user who can access their data and for what purpose. This means any applications built by the organisation on top of the platform must explicitly seek the user’s permission to use their data, which can be rescinded at any time the user decides.

In the case of the NHS pilot, the Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, which has partnered with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority to deliver the Greater Manchester Digital Platform programme, is using Pods so that patients can eventually hold and control their own health and social care records.

 

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