Learn about Web3, the next version of the internet that gives individuals control over their data and identities. Web3 can help make the internet safer and more transparent.
Internet consumers want to be in control of their data and see how it is being utilized. Both can be provided by an evolution of the current web, which Sir Tim Berners-Lee has already outlined. By placing users in control of their own data and identities, Web 3.0, or Web3 if you prefer, refers to a new web paradigm that aims to make the internet more safe and fair. Web 3.0 promises to provide each and every one of us unparalleled levels of control and transparency over how our data is utilized.
According to proponents of Web 3.0, this transformation is accomplished by a completely “decentralized” internet built on blockchain. This is obviously different from all of the web constructs that are already in use.
But to expect everyone to throw away what they now have and start over is unreasonable. After all, what we currently have is competent in a variety of areas. Instead of changing the paradigm, we must do so. In order to allow the features promised by Web 3.0, including security, privacy, consent, user-centricity, interoperability, and more, we need an evolution of the web as it is today rather than a revolution.
The promise of Web 3.0 is lacking something as it stands right now, specifically the natural next step toward a better online. The creator of the web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, has offered this obvious next step.
A realistic move in the direction of a better internet
It helps to think about what consumers genuinely want from the web’s third major evolution in order to separate the promise of Web 3.0 from the specifics of blockchain implementation.
Many of us desire access to our data, a range of options, and some degree of acceptable control. We must be able to control who has access to our data, understand how it is being used, and withdraw our consent if we feel uncomfortable disclosing particular data. We want our data to be used for our benefit, which is perhaps most crucial.
In some situations, blockchain can assist with these objectives. The ownership and historical integrity of data can be easier to manage and access since blockchain is a protocol for reading and writing data in a decentralized and immutable way. As a result, some use cases in finance, supply chains, and chain of custody are ideal candidates for blockchain.
But for Web 3.0 solutions to provide visibility, choice, and control over data, there are many more technical requirements. We require a tech stack including solutions for identification, data management, application interoperability, access control, and permission in order to build Web 3.0 apps that are quick and adaptable.
Fortunately, developing web standards and technologies, such as those contained in Solid, Berners-Lee’s new system for organizing data, applications, and identities on the web, already provide solutions to these concerns. Let’s take a deeper look at these specifications and the characteristics of full solutions.
For Web 3.0 to work, identity and access control are necessary
Most consumers desire data visibility, transparency, and consent. Communications with institutions, partners, and other trustworthy parties must be kept private. My doctor and I solely share medical records. Only my bank, accountant, and I can access my finances. We need a strong and explicit access control system to maintain secrecy when several parties need access to data, not a public record of data ownership.
These flexible data links require non-vendor or application-specific online identities. Decentralized IDs and web identifiers are attractive solutions in this industry, but they need to be refined and integrated with the web stack. End-to-end solutions need fine-grained access controls. Web standards for user data privacy are emerging. Berners-Lee’s Solid technology leverages online datastores (Solid Pods) to provide an end-to-end solution for web identities, apps, and data using these standards.
This in Web3? When you install a new app, it may request access to your contacts, photos, and location. You may allow or refuse access to such apps and services at any time by updating your privacy settings. Web 3.0 would apply this user experience to all of your online data, including financial and medical records, surfing patterns, and online purchases.
Applications for Web3 must be interoperable
Data from every web user is fragmented across many businesses, each with its own silo. Almost every business in the world tries to obtain a true, constantly updated 360-degree image of its clients. To prevent data duplication, staleness, and degradation, businesses combine many systems and data warehouses.
Due to this endeavor, only a few organizations have the resources to stand out, resulting in a convoluted infrastructure that is a compliance and liability nightmare. This suggests that data collection, not service quality, defines success.
New web technologies like Solid solve this problem by using widely accepted online standards to ensure application and protocol interoperability. These standards prevent user and company lock-in.
Online business and user collaboration need application interoperability. An interoperable data standard provides a single source of truth, lowering operational costs and streamlining infrastructure for enterprises. Each person may manage and update their data within the framework, assuring accuracy and currency. For instance such a system preserves data privacy and follows privacy regulations by revealing who has access to which data and how it is used.
There must be access to Web3
Web-native Solid can distribute data. Personal data is related to the person it depicts and system-interoperable regardless of where it is stored. Most data classes allow access revocation, while some require access for compliance and governance.
Web3 advocates like decentralization. Governance and compliance firms may struggle with physically decentralized storage requirements. If regulatory compliance requires special measures to protect certain classes of data on servers, organizations will struggle to adopt blockchain (or any decentralized storage solution) because they will not have a simple way to identify and govern those data classes.
Most people don’t want to handle their own data, which complete decentralization requires. Given the complexity of today’s data ecosystems, most people lack the ability and skills to do this safely. Full self-governance puts end users and their data at risk, undermining Web3 and GDPR, HIPAA, and PCI.
Blockchain technology is remarkable and versatile. It lacks the end-to-end features needed to be the web’s future foundation. Web3.0 requires solid technology and standards that enable interoperability and fine-grained access control in a distributed and compliant system. Data visibility, openness, and consent build trust.
Firms should use this new infrastructure to share critical data across services and companies to improve the web. Governance and data flow between internal systems, external partners, and users will be possible. An architecture that synchronizes consent-based data between users and organizations would eliminate data silos and their infinite integrations and operational workarounds for businesses and governments. Solid is pushing to empower Web 3.0.