Solid, beyond people

Hello Solid Team,

I recently discovered the Solid project and I find it very interesting. I understand that Solid is designed to allow people to store their data independently of applications.

I wonder if the project’s purpose is to extend to other types of users than people: for example companies, supplies in the supply chain, objects, contracts, etc. In short, all entities in the world. Indeed, could the logic of associating a digital identity to an entity and attaching master data to it through pods not find uses in industry, ownership management, etc.?

Here are some examples of uses to which the Solid philosophy could bring value:

  • Traceability in the supply chain: associate an identity to each supply and attach data to it. When several supplies are assembled / merged, new identities are created. Thus, the data associated with the part circulates transparently and without loss of information between its owners.
  • Connected passport for vehicles: all data related to the life cycle of the vehicle is stored in its pods (e.g. data generated during a technical inspection), when the vehicle changes owner, the ownership of the pods is transmitted but the data is kept.
  • Capitalization of a company’s identity data: data related to the identity of a company (personnel numbers, contacts, addresses, etc.) that must be shared with its partners (customers, suppliers, legal authorities, etc.) are recorded and made available in pods. This makes it possible to centralize the master data and to ensure that it is indeed this data that is shared (in order to avoid errors).
  • And so on. (the list of use cases can be endless)

I would be very curious to hear your views. Thanks for your feedback and opinions on this topic!

Best,

Grégoire

Solid is and always has been very interested in organizations as well as individuals. A “social agent” (either a Person or an Organization) can own a WebID, the basic point of identity. There are a number of projects working on things like smart cities, national health care, banking, and other fields which leverage Solid’s approach to organizations. So, yes, all of the use cases you mention can be handled by Solid (or will be eventually) and there are proof of concept projects on many of them already. You may be interested in my blog post on using Solid with organizations : https://solidos.solidcommunity.net/public/2022/modeling-social-benefit-of-organizations/index.html.

I agree with Jeff that Solid is for both People and Organisations alike, however, I don’t think your car would have a pod & WebiD.

Instead, you’d have a pod & WebID, and you’d allow your car to write data into part of it, if you sell that car, then the app you sell it with could help facilitate an access request between you and the buyer, to give the buyer access to the historical data (and/or copy it across to their pod)

For supply chain tracking, that one’s a bit more tricky, and oddly enough something that theoretically, I’d say a blockchain is probably more suited to (tracking assets over time and who has them); though it wouldn’t be a public blockchain, like Ethereum or Bitcoin, but one owned & managed by the supply chain & businesses & governments involved.

Solid wouldn’t necessarily help there because, well, things don’t have identity, you can’t exactly tell two oranges apart.

But, what might happen is that when you purchase an orange, you gain an entry into your pod via the receipt (a verifiable credential perhaps) that says you now have that item, and the blockchain simply reflects that it’s been sold & left the system.

No one technology can or should dolve every problem.