Pods on mobile

Due to the fact that a webId requires a url, I can’t store my personal data on my mobile device? This means that I don’t actually have control and instead need to choose which obscure pod-platform I entrust with my data and everything is centralised? I know I can self-host, but how would I explain to my mother how to do this? She would depend on me. Not trying to poke holes, but just curious on how the user actually controls their data without having a masters degree.

From my point of view, a prerequisite to data control in Solid is: You need to trust the pod provider you have chosen.

However, in Solid you have the choice, which pod provider you go to. You can pick a provider that you completely trust. In particular, you can search for one with a good privacy policy (e.g. one that does not share your data with 3rd party companies) which legally binds them to provide privacy. Or you pick one with a good reputation, or a self-hosted one, etc.

An important difference to the current situation is that the services are decoupled from the storage provider, which gives you more freedom in the choice. For instance, (afaik) currently to use Google Docs you will need to store it on google servers. With Solid you could use a Solid Docs with any pod provider you want.

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If an application supports it, e.g. by using solid-rest, you could also store it in local storage.

To use arbitrary applications, I guess you could use a proxy to have a valid looking url which maps to locally stored data. I’ve never done something like this, so idk if you can realize a proxy with a mobile app or a web extension. If it is possible, than it would be an effort of a single installation of an app/extension, no masters degree needed :slight_smile:

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Thank you for your response.

An important difference to the current situation is that the services are decoupled from the storage provider, which gives you more freedom in the choice. For instance, (afaik) currently to use Google Docs you will need to store it on google servers. With Solid you could use a Solid Docs with any pod provider you want.

I do agree with your statement, but is this worth it? One of the ways the pod providers can earn money is by selling your data. Not all of them will do it this way, but a privacy policy is not something that I’ve read before and will not mean the providers stop sharing your data. I can also see Google releasing their pod service which only gives them more data :grimacing:. We know that this is not a good idea to store your data at Google, but I think most people trust Google more than a random website saying they are protecting your data, while still selling it or charging you money.
I don’t want to be annoying, but personally I’m not convinced that the complexity it brings (more complex for dev’s, legal, business and user) will be worth it for a choice between known companies that are bad or companies that I don’t know.

However if a government provides the pods, then maybe it is more interesting since they have more control and can regulate better what company has access and then it may be worth it.
(i live in Belgium and the government is looking into the technology to see if it is useful, so not at all far fetched).
I’m going to dig a bit further to see what’s possible :slight_smile:

We’re already seeing governments that want to provide Pods for their citizens/residents, for example, Flanders in Belgium.

As for

is this worth it? One of the ways the pod providers can earn money is by selling your data. Not all of them will do it this way

I’d be inclined to say that a Pod Provider who sells your data will not likely last long in a community that cares about privacy. Perhaps at some point we’ll even end up with a website that lists where you can get pods, and that could contain information about privacy.

At the end of the day, read the terms of service and privacy policy, those are your legal protections (along with the law of where you live / where the service is based), so if you used a pod provider who said “nope, we don’t sell your data” and then discovered they were actually doing this, you could sue them — this is no different to any other company offering services on the internet today.

There’s also things like ODRL which is an entire ontology for describing privacy and data access.

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Yes in the end I do see the usefulness if the government provides pods for their citizens. After reading some more I do see the potential!

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