Facebook, Google, eBay, and others own vast swaths of Web activity and have unprecedented power over us, inspiring an effort to re-decentralize the Web.[…]
Berners-Lee’s new project, underway at his MIT lab, is called Solid (“social linked data”), a way for you to own your own data while making it available to the applications that you want to be able to use it.
With Solid, you store your data in “pods” (personal online data stores) that are hosted wherever you would like. But Solid isn’t just a storage system: It lets other applications ask for data. If Solid authenticates the apps and — importantly — if you’ve given permission for them to access that data, Solid delivers it.
The InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) takes a different approach. It starts from the conviction that even having web pages identified by a pointer to the server that stores them is too centralized. Why not instead go the way of BitTorrent and let multiple computers supply parts of a page all at the same time? That way, if a web server goes down, it won’t take all of the pages on it with it. IPFS should make the web more resilient, and less subject to censorship.