Janik von Rotz

2 min read

Paradigm shift in the handling of data

The handling of private data is the subject of controversial public debate. Everyone expresses concerns about the handling of private data, but most people pass it on to third parties via social media without hesitation. A controversy that is often left hanging in the air.

Perhaps a new way of looking at data, apps and users is needed? New ideas in dealing with data already exist and just need to be spread. One idea in particular appeals to me and I would like to present it here. It is the so-called zero data apps.

The traditional way

When a user calls up an app or a website and wants to access their data, this is only possible with the app itself.

Without an application, there is no data, even if it belongs to the user.

The new way

On Zero Data App is described how this problem can be solved. Data is stored decoupled from the application. If an application wants to access the data, the user must explicitly allow it.

Applications that fulfill this principle are built on certain technologies. One of these technologies is Solid.


Founded by the inventor of the Internet Sir Tim Berners-Lee as an initiative to restore privacy to Internet users, Solid ensures that data is stored in a decentralized and secure manner. At the heart of the Solid specification are what are known as pods. Pods are personal servers for data. The owner decides how to share data with other users and applications.

When applications are developed according to this principle, not only are the problems of data protection eliminated, but an environment is created where users can move their data and change providers freely.

Of course, new challenges arise in this context. Meaningful economic incentives must be created for the development of these applications. Trading data is a lucrative business at the expense of privacy. Perhaps a paradigm shift will help here.

Categories: Privacy
Tags: security , privacy , data , perspective
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