Currently, a handful of tech companies own the data of a large portion of Internet users worldwide and can use algorithmic data profiles to help them navigate the overwhelming array of information on the Internet through recommendation mechanisms. In addition, these companies can use this data to serve unwanted commercial advertisements and expose sensitive information about users.

Most people view this data profiling by tech companies with mixed feelings. On one hand, it is convenient when an algorithm makes recommendations that fit personal preferences. On the other hand, there is a growing discomfort about the personal information these big tech companies' digital systems hold about users. This raises the question of whether this can be done differently. Can people reliably self-manage their data and still get help to navigate the overwhelming array of information on the Internet?

Together with the OBA, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, the UVA and the software companies Bookarang and Muze, we are developing a "tipper" for libraries. This tipper will be driven by Solidpod technology, developed by Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web. With this technology, data is stored in your personal "pod," giving users control over the use of their data and the resulting recommendations.

With this project, we have the ambition to structurally change the infrastructure for managing recommendation systems by creating applications where the interests and public values of the end user are central. Initially, we are rolling out this technology to libraries, and subsequently to a wider range of cultural institutions. Stay up to date with the latest developments via this page!

Project duration

25 Mar 2024 - 8 Jun 2025