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World Wide Web Founder Wants to Update It with More User Controls

British Computer Scientist, Sir Tim Berners-Lee who invented the internet navigation system known as the World Wide Web wants to remake cyberspace.

Berners-Lee’s new quest is to fix common problems that he says have handicapped the open web in an age where huge, closed platforms such as Facebook have exploded.

Through a new startup called Inrupt, Berners-Lee is building on concepts from an open-source software project called Solid to develop a web which he says people can use a single sign-on for any service. Personal data will then be stored in “pods,” (personal online data stores) that are controlled by the user.

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“People are fed up with the lack of controls, the silos,” Berners-Lee, co-founder and chief technology officer of Inrupt, said in an interview with Reuters.

“This new, updated web, will enable the kind of person-to-person sharing and collaboration that has helped make the big social media services so successful while leaving the user in control.”

The project will be piloted with Britain’s National Health Service, the BBC and the government of Flanders in Belgium. At its core, Inrupt is mostly a set of protocols for how machines talk to one another, meaning that specific applications bring it to life. The startup’s aim is to engage software developers to write programs for the platform.

“The use cases are so broad, it’s like a do-over for the web,” Berners-Lee said.

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Written by Vanessa Murrey

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