Father of the Web Berners-Lee prepares 'do-over'

Friday, January 15, 2021

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the British computer scientist who invented the internet navigation system known as the World Wide Web, wants to re-make cyberspace once again.

With a new startup called Inrupt, Berners-Lee aims to fix some of the problems that have handicapped the so-called open web in an age of huge, closed platforms such as Facebook.

Building on ideas developed by an open-source software project called Solid, Inrupt promises a web where people can use a single sign-on for any service and personal data is stored in "pods," or personal online data stores, controlled by the user.

"People are fed up with the lack of controls, the silos," said Berners-Lee, co-founder and chief technology officer of Inrupt, in an interview at the Reuters Next conference on Tuesday.

This new, updated web, Berners-Lee said, 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.