What is a Pod?
A 'Pod' or 'Personal Online Datastore' refers to a virtual storage space on the internet that citizens or consumers use to store and manage personal data. The idea behind a Pod is to give users more control over their own data, including personal or confidential information.
Users decide which applications or companies have access to their data and which specific data is shared. Thus, companies get access to premium, first-party data.
Built-in privacy functionalities (Privacy by Design) ensure that privacy considerations are an integral part of the data management process. Platform interoperability allows data to be shared between different applications, services, companies, etc., creating a seamless experience.
Ownership and access
Consumers retain ownership and control of their own data at all times, unlike central storage with third parties such as corporate databases.
Explicit consent is required to share data with third parties so that access control is always maintained. Consent to data sharing can be seen as an indication that consumers trust your company or organisation.
Additionally, it is important that moving data storage from central servers to decentralised Pods reduces dependence on tech companies.
How does it work?
The supporting technology is Solid, a cloud technology that has proven to be a ground-breaking solution for sharing sensitive corporate and personal data in a controlled and transparent way with trusted parties.
The project was started by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the founder of the World Wide Web, with the aim of giving individuals more control over their own data. The Solid protocol provides the basis for interoperability between Solid Pods and various Solid applications.
Security and privacy
Pods, as in the Solid project, combine user control and encryption for strong security of personal data. The 'Privacy by Design' principle ensures that privacy considerations are embedded in basic functionalities. With detailed access controls and transparency, Pods offer a balanced approach to protecting data, while decentralisation minimises dependence on central entities.