Solid – Social Linked Data

Solid for the end user

Solid is a standardised way for storing your cloud files and data with a provider you choose. You decide which people or applications have access to it.

It is a way to enable «bring your own datastore».

Your files and data are stored in encrypted Pods, and it is possible to use different apps from different providers to access it.

Think of it as Google Drive, or OneDrive, but instead of Microsoft and Google controlling and locking in your data, you are free to move it around with any provider you want.

Solid for the app developer

Solid is a ‘specification’ of technologies that lets users store regular files and structured data in secure, encrypted Pods and control which people or applications have access to it.

Solid Pods can store both structured data and normal files. Data could be your social media profile or your health records. Files could be your notes or photos from you last holiday.

Solid is not meant to completely replace the need for databases and other types of stores, but is designed to be a secure way for an end-user to provide their own data-store for sensitive information that they want to be in control of.

As an application developer, using Solid Pods for sensitive user data has many benefits. We automatically support GDPR and stronger privacy laws because the user can bring their own store, hosted with a provider they trust, in a country whose laws they trust.

Pods are encrypted by default. A user can at any time block an application’s access to the data. A user can fine-tune their permissions to make sure an app doesn’t take more data than they need.

Solid also comes with authentication, so you don’t have to roll your own, or use a federated service from a big cloud provider.

As a user you are not tied in to a specific provider. For instance, if your current provider is hosted by a company outside your home jurisdiction you might not be covered by your own country’s laws. Because Solid is designed with interoperability at its core, it is easy to switch to a different provider. This is more difficult (and sometimes close to impossible) with traditional cloud services.

A user can have multiple Pods with several different providers. Perhaps you have a separate Pod for all your interaction with local and national government, the hosting of the Pod may be paid for by your taxes, rather than as yet another monthly expense.

Of course, some of the immediate drawbacks is that as a developer, you need to start thinking about writing your software in a different way. Your software needs to be resilient and allow for missing or partial data.

Solid is in active development, and consent is a key feature on the horizon. It will allow you to give another person (or any agent) permission to act on your behalf for parts of your Pod: Imagine an older poorly sighted person could give consent to their children to be the guardian of the health record part of their Pod. Their children can then give access to the necessary records to a doctor or hospital when needed.

In some countries, when you’re under age you’re not allowed to sign up for things like subscription services without a guardian’s approval. Using a consent based system, the guardian can approve certain actions as you (or whoever issued the Pod) may have given them access to your data.

Solid is a collection of standards, existing and new, into a specification.

This text is now is a mixture of information for developers and information for end users. Think about how to split this up into understandable pieces. Then translate into Norwegian

‘Own your Data, yet share it easily, like cloud storage but yours. Build your One-World information model for your life or your company, like Google and Facebook does about you, but yours is for you to use and benefit from. Save considerable time and headaches by getting access to smarter, better Apps, called TrinApps, with Trinity your conceptual AI agent, and all TrinApps accessing and sharing all your Data.’


‘There is no reason IT corporations should control your data, or for your data to be locked into one app.’ ‘Do you have single purpose apps that lock your data into siloed use?’ ‘Do you have data, like contact names, siloed into one app that you either have to synchronise or duplicate into other apps?’ ‘Do you have systems that are difficult to move away from, because your data is stuck in them?’

‘Solid provides for the first time a single global standardized API’

‘Solid provides separate places (pods) for you to store your data, a bit like Dropbox and Google Drive and iCloud, but you have the power to share any file or folder or contact or event or whatever with anyone who has a Solid ID.’

‘When Solid apps start, they just store all the data they need to work in your pod. They don’t store the data themselves at some computer run by the person who owns the app. So by default you control all the data in your Solid world. This is a massive improvement to your privacy.’

‘Solid app builders don’t just store the data in your pod any old way. They use Solid standard formats. This means that you and the people you work with can actually use many different apps - at the same time even - to do stuff.’

Solid is a specification that lets people store their data securely in decentralized data stores called Pods. Pods are like secure personal web servers for data. When data is stored in someone’s Pod, they control which people and applications can access it.’

The above is a great summary of Solid.

‘Any kind of data can be stored in a Solid Pod, from structured data to regular files that you might store in a Google Drive or Dropbox folder. People can grant or revoke access to any slice of their data as needed.’

‘Try not to think of Solid as separate from the web. All web clients and servers already run 90% of the solid protocol.’

– Melvin Carvalho on the P2P Foundation Wiki

Solid Protocol document

“This document connects a set of specifications that, together, provide applications with secure and permissioned access to externally stored data in an interoperable way.”

Solid OIDC

“The Solid project aims to change the way web applications work today to improve privacy and user control of personal data by utilizing current standards, protocols, and tools, to facilitate building extensible and modular decentralized applications based on Linked Data principles.”


See Linked Data, decentralized web, decentralization, Zero Data App.