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He Created the Web. Now He's Out to Remake the Digital World.

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Sir Tim Berners-Lee.

Tim Berners-Lee believes tech giants like Google and Facebook become surveillance platforms and gatekeepers of innovation, fueled by vast troves of data.

Credit: Lola and Pani/The New York Times

World Wide Web creator and 2016 ACM A.M. Turing Award recipient Tim Berners-Lee hopes to bring the Web back to his original vision of a decentralized marketplace through personal online data stores (pods), with users controlling their data in individual vaults.

Berners-Lee co-founded the startup Inrupt, which will charge licensing fees for its commercial software, using Solid open source software along with augmented security, management, and developer tools.

Pods are free for users, and Inrupt expects initial sponsors will be trusted organizations. Increasingly intelligent data protection technology is placing competitive pressure on the big tech firms.

Georgia Institute of Technology's Peter Swire said this creates "a market opportunity for Tim Berners-Lee's firm and others to offer individuals better ways to control their data."

From The New York Times
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