A Policy-Oriented Architecture for Enforcing Consent in Solid

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In Proceedings of the 2nd International Workshop on Consent Management in Online Services, Networks and Things (2022)

The Solid project aims to restore end-users’ control over their data by decoupling services and applications from data storage. To realize data governance by the user, the Solid Protocol 0.9 relies on Web Access Control, which has limited expressivity and interpretability. In contrast, recent privacy and data protection regulations impose strict requirements on personal data processing applications and the scope of their operation. The Web Access Control mechanism lacks the granularity and contextual awareness needed to enforce these regulatory requirements. Therefore, we suggest a possible architecture for relating Solid’s low-level technical access control rules with higher-level concepts such as the legal basis and purpose for data processing, the abstract types of information being processed, and the data sharing preferences of the data subject. Our architecture combines recent technical efforts by the Solid community panels with prior proposals made by researchers on the use of ODRL and SPECIAL policies as an extension to Solid’s authorization mechanism. While our approach appears to avoid a number of pitfalls identified in previous research, further work is needed before it can be implemented and used in a practical setting.