Accenture Ventures recently launched a strategic investment in online data firm Inrupt in a bid to allow internet users to control their personal data, the company announced this week.
Inrupt was co-founded by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Founder of the World Wide Web, to empower users, developers, and organisations to overcome ‘siloed data’ controlled by single entities, creating incompatibilities with other ecosystems.
The firm enables groups to provide personal data vaults to consumers and individuals with its Enterprise Solid Server Platform, based on Berners-Lee’s open source technologies.
Clients using the Solid Server Platform can combine and store data from several separate sources, allowing users to determine the data to share on services and apps.
Inrupt recently became a part of Accenture Ventures’ Project Spotlight, which backs emerging tech software startups via the Global 2000, offering expansive access to the Dublin-based IT consultancy giant’s list of experts and enterprise clients.
I’m thrilled to announce our latest Accenture “Project Spotlight” Investment is in @timberners_lee and @johnwbruce
new Personal Data Privacy company @Inrupt
. Trust in our data has been an illusive requirement to deliver…our investment here seeks to begin to change this. pic.twitter.com/lfnMcv559l
— Tom Lounibos (@Lounibos) March 29, 2022
The news comes after research from Accenture found that 89 percent of executives responded that their organisation’s ability to create value in their businesses was based on the limitations of technological architectures they employed.
Entities could also organise data around respective individuals for greater transparency and control, rather than relying on incompatible backend systems, the research added.
Comments on Open-Source Data
Tom Lounibos, Managing Director of Accenture Ventures, said that managing and storing personal data had become a “fragmented process” for businesses, creating difficulties for users.
“Managing and storing personal data is a fragmented process for businesses and one that makes it difficult for users to understand where their data resides and who has control of it”
Lounibos added his company’s investment in Inrupt demonstrated its commitment to helping clients “rethink their technology architectures and source new solutions.”
The Boston, Massachusetts-based firm could also support “users and businesses alike” to reshape data ownership relationships as collaborative experiences rather than unilateral ones, he said, adding it was “increasingly important as companies begin developing a metaverse strategy.”
Berners-Lee noted that, 33 years after founding the World Wide Web, his company had been delivering on its vision of a “web of shared benefit, for everyone.”
His tech firm’s Solid technologies would,
“[work] to create a new internet era by putting individuals in control of their data, giving organizations new opportunities to create value for customers, and allowing developers to thrive in an open marketplace of innovation”
John Bruce, Co-Founder and Chief Executive for Inrupt, stated users and organisations were both “frustrated” due to ongoing issues with digital data.
“We have the technology to share securely, and we have the tools to put people in control of their own data and to allow organizations and developers to access that data when users allow it — when it benefits both sides. Good for the individual and equally valuable to the organization”
The news comes after Paul Daughtery, Accenture’s Group Chief Executive, joined a discussion on the future of the Internet with Berners-Lee and Bruce at Accenture’s Technology Vision 2022 launch in March.
The Metaverse continuum report explored how businesses faced novel challenges amid the rise of extended reality (XR), blockchain, edge computing, digital twins, and other emerging technologies reshaping human relationships.
The announcements come after the Virtual and Augmented Reality Association (VRARA) hosted an event in September with panel talks with members of the global tech industry.
Panellists urged the tech community to adopt and foster an open framework for developing Web 3.0 complete with universal standards and regulations to protect user data rights, just a month ahead of Meta’s Mark Zuckerberg, who announced his firm would pivot to developing the Metaverse.