The Flemish government gets mustard from Tim Berners-Lee


The Flemish government will use a ‘data utility’ to manage citizens’ data in a different way. That approach with digital data safes actually comes from Tim Berners-Lee, creator of the world wide web.

In the September statement of the Flemish government, Prime Minister Jan Jambon cited the concept of a ‘data utility’.

That company will work on a different new way of dealing with citizens’ data. This approach is based on a project by Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the web.


Via the so-called Solid, a system of digital data vaults, citizens and companies should become (re) owners of the personal data that the government holds about them.

From a technical point of view, Solid consists of standards for optimal data exchange, based on the trusted web technology. Professor Ruben Verborgh of Ghent University – Imec is one of the driving forces behind the Solid project.

A test version of the system is already running via My Citizen Profile, in which the personal data of the Fleming is stored in such a Solid safe. In the future there will also be room in the safe for other data, such as e-mail addresses. Telecom operators, banks and media could also deposit data in vaults that are managed and controlled by the users themselves.

Accounting office

Yesterday, a virtual theme day was organized about Solid. With which the Flemish government also wants to emphasize that Flanders excels in data technology. Tim Berners-Lee was also on the program there himself.

During the study day, it was shown how such a safe can be used for an accounting office. In that case, certificates, identity papers and bank documents are stored in the safe. They are then shared with, for example, the relevant civil-law notary. Account numbers could also be stored in it, which could be important for, for example, quickly obtaining government premiums.

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