Solid WebID Profile

Draft Community Group Report,

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Latest published version
Virginia Balseiro
Jeff Zucker
Sarven Capadisli
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Timea Turdean
Tim Berners-Lee
Sarven Capadisli
Virginia Balseiro
Timea Turdean
Jeff Zucker
GitHub solid/webid-profile (pull requests, new issue, open issues)
Unique Identifier
W3C Solid Community Group


Social agents need to present themselves on the Web and set the circumstances in which their profiles can be used. A WebID is a way to identify a person or organization within various social, conceptual, and contextual relations. This specification describes the discovery and the data model of a Solid Profile as the representation of a social agent's identity in the Solid ecosystem for various circumstances under which profiles are used or shared, as well as preferences specific to applications.

Status of This Document

This report was published by the Solid Community Group. It is not a W3C Standard nor is it on the W3C Standards Track. Please note that under the W3C Community Contributor License Agreement (CLA) there is a limited opt-out and other conditions apply. Learn more about W3C Community and Business Groups.

1. Introduction

This section is non-normative.

A city has public places where I can do all kinds of things, and also a private house with a private room which may be just mine. In that house there are spaces where I do things with family, friends, colleagues. The web must, like a well-designed building, provide a gradient of intimacy between the private and the public, so I can easily recognize the difference, easily know which I am in, and easily welcome people to come into the more intimate parts, as I want to.

If the web is like a well-designed building, the Solid Profile can be likened to the lobby, serving as a public space where visitors can discover which parts of the building's interior the owner has given consent for them to see.

The Solid ecosystem enables a social agent, such as an individual or an organization, to establish an identity by obtaining a unique identifier, called a WebID. The associated Solid Profile serves as a starting point for applications to access information related to the social agent.

There are different circumstances under which profiles are used or shared, including:

  • Communication and use of multiple profiles for different purposes.
  • Connectivity of multiple profiles and cross-context recognition.
  • Cascade of profile information.
  • Persistence and evolution of profiles.
  • Anonymous, pseudonymous, and meronymous profiles.
  • Self-controlled and third-party-controlled identities.
  • Information for the purpose of verification, authentication, authorization purposes.
  • Compilation of preferences, choices, activities and interactions of an agent.
  • Social graph for different kinds of relationships between agents.
  • Factors specific to physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural, social, or behavioural identity.

In order to support these different use cases, access to the Solid profile document itself, or any of the linked associated documents, might be limited to certain groups, agents, or applications.

This specification is for:

  • Server developers that want to enable clients to send and retrieve information pertaining to Solid WebID Profiles;
  • Application developers that want to implement a client to produce and consume information pertaining to Solid WebID Profiles.

1.1 Terminology

This section is non-normative.

This document uses terminology from the Solid Protocol [SOLID-PROTOCOL] and Web Access Control [WAC] specifications.

The Solid WebID Profile specification defines the following terms. These terms are referenced throughout this specification.

Solid Profile
A Solid profile is a description of a social agent's identity within the Solid ecosystem, which can be used to describe their persona, preferences, abilities, affiliations, social activities and relationships, characteristics, and digital presence, as well as to aid in the discovery of storage and location of specific data.
Extended Solid Profile
An extended Solid profile is an additional profile document that provides supplemental description to a Solid profile to help distribute and manage information about a WebID for use in different circumstances. Extended profile documents can be used for various purposes, such as organizing information or limiting access to certain data.
Preferences Document
A preferences document is a specific resource intended to store data which helps authorized applications accommodate the user's preferences, such as settings, personalization details, and pointers to the user's private data.

1.2 Namespaces

Prefixes and Namespaces
Prefix Namespace Description
rdf [rdf-schema]
rdfs [rdf-schema]
ldp [LDP]
solid Solid Terms
pim Workspace Ontology
acl ACL Ontology
dcterms [DC-TERMS]

1.3 Conformance

This section describes the conformance model of the Solid WebID Profile..

Normative and Informative Content

All assertions, diagrams, examples, and notes are non-normative, as are all sections explicitly marked non-normative. Everything else is normative.

The key words “MUST”, “MUST NOT”, “SHOULD”, and “MAY” are to be interpreted as described in BCP 14 [RFC2119] [RFC8174] when, and only when, they appear in all capitals, as shown here.

The key words “strongly encouraged”, “strongly discouraged”, “encouraged", “discouraged", “can", “cannot”, “could”, “could not”, “might”, and “might not” are used for non-normative content.

Specification Category

The Solid WebID Profile identifies the following Specification Category to distinguish the types of conformance: notation/syntax, processor behavior, protocol.

Classes of Products

The Solid WebID Profile identifies the following Classes of Products for conforming implementations. These products are referenced throughout this specification.

Reader Application
A Solid app that issues HTTP requests to consume content pertaining to WebID Profiles.
Writer Application
A Solid app that issues HTTP requests to produce and consume content pertaining to WebID Profiles.
A Solid Server that responds to HTTP requests processing payloads pertaining to Solid WebID Profiles.


Reader Application–Server interoperability
Interoperability of implementations for Reader Applications and Servers is tested by evaluating an implementation’s ability to request and respond to HTTP messages that conform to this specification.
Writer Application–Server interoperability
Interoperability of implementations for Writer Applications and Servers is tested by evaluating an implementation’s ability to request and respond to HTTP messages that conform to this specification.

2. Discovery

A Solid profile is comprised of statements expressing a social agent's identity, which can be found in one or more resources. The discovery of these statements initiates with the WebID, a URI pointing to a single document referred to as a WebID Profile Document. This document can contain references to:

A profile can be assembled by collecting all statements that have the WebID as the subject or the object, regardless of their originating documents, as illustrated below.

Solid Profile Discovery Overview

Depending on the established access control rules, certain resources may be inaccessible to specific applications or agents.

Reading and Writing Profiles

3.1 Reading Profile

To retrieve a representation of a Solid WebID Profile, Reader Application MUST make an HTTP GET request targeting a Solid WebID Profile resource and include an Accept header requesting a representation in text/turtle or application/ld+json.

Solid WebID Profile

The Solid WebID Profile has the following properties:

  • One rdf:type property whose object is foaf:Agent.
  • One pim:preferencesFile.
  • Zero or one ldp:inbox.
  • Zero or more pim:storage properties to indicate agent's storages.
  • Zero or more rdfs:seeAlso to refer to related documents extending the profile.

The Solid WebID Profiles may include other information pertaining to scenarios in which profiles are used or shared as mentioned in use cases.

Preferences Document

The Preferences Document has the following properties:

  • One rdf:type property whose object is pim:ConfigurationFile.
  • Zero or more rdfs:seeAlso.

Extended Profile Documents

The Extended Profile Documents are also self-describing Solid WebID Profiles and share the same data model. Reader Applications retrieve representations of Extended Profile Documents the same way as they retrieve Solid WebID Profiles.

Reader Application MAY retrieve a representation of an Extended Profile Document.

3.2 Updating Profile

Writer Applications perform write operations against Solid Protocol servers.


To promote self-describing resources and efficient discovery and reuse of profile information, implementations and authors are encouraged to prioritize using the Solid WebID Profile before resorting to an Extended WebID Profile.

Writer Application MUST use an HTTP PUT or PATCH request targeting the Solid WebID Profile to be updated.

Solid WebID Profile might include protected properties, such as solid:oidcIssuer.

Servers MUST NOT allow HTTP PUT or PATCH on a Solid WebID Profile to update its protected triples; if the server receives such a request, it MUST respond with a 409 status code.

Servers MUST respond with a 422 status code [RFC4918] when unable to process the contained instructions, including unrecognised JSON-LD context in representation data, semantically erroneous Solid WebID Profile or Preferences Document data.

3.3 Extending a Profile

Writer Applications perform write operations against Solid Protocol servers.

Ownership by WebID URI entails that the social agent has authority over the representation of the resource it identifies, including access to perform write operations targeting the Solid WebID Profile.

Writer Application MUST use an HTTP PUT or PATCH request targeting the Extended Profile to be created.

Writer Application MUST use an HTTP PUT or PATCH request targeting the Extended Profile to be updated


While the rdfs:seeAlso property is recommended to establish links to extended profiles or additional information, the use of the owl:sameAs property is encouraged when connecting two WebIDs that denote the same entity, as shown in the example: <> owl:sameAs <>.

4. Private Preferences

The Preferences Document is a resource intended to hold information only accessible to an application that is logged in and authenticated as the WebID owner or as an agent delegated by the WebID owner to act in their behalf. The preference Document can include settings and preferences, and pointers to the owner's personal, private data, be it contacts, pictures or health data. An application operating on behalf of the owner can gather configuration settings from the owner, store them in the Preferences Document, and then read them there on subsequent visits. Such an application might also record private information (for example, a driver's license number) and later, at the direction of the owner, retrieve the information to fill out a form. A Solid WebID Profile Document MUST have exactly one triple with the WebID as subject, pim:preferencesFile as predicate, and the location of the Preferences Document as object. For example:

<?WebID> <> <?PreferencesDocument> .

When an application operating on behalf of the WebID owner cannot discover a pim:preferencesFile triple, and has write and control access, and wishes to write preference data, it could create a document accessible only to the WebID owner. An application that creates a Preference Document can insert a triple in the WebID Profile Document with the WebID as subject, pim:preferencesFile as predicate, and the URL of the created document as object.

5. Identity Provider

The solid:oidcIssuer predicate denotes a Solid OIDC Identity Provider capable of authenticating the WebID owner. Applications can use the value of solid:oidcIssuer to initiate the login process.

6. Inbox

A Solid WebID Profile can advertise an inbox with the ldp:inbox property [LDN] to allow applications to send and discover notifications about activities, interactions, and new information for the attention of the owner of the WebID. It is discouraged for Solid WebID Profiles to advertise more than one inbox.

Applications can create an inbox (see resource containment) as needed with desired permissions and policies, and then associate the inbox to a WebID by updating the WebID Profile Document.

7. Other predicates

A user, a server or an application with appropriate permissions can add triples to profiles using any predicates. This specification covers only those predicates related to resource infrastructure that are in common use at the time of this writing and which we recommend as a standard. Some of the other predicates you might encounter include acl:trustedApp and cert:key. The Interoperability panel is also working on proposals which will add additional infrastructure related predicates to Solid profiles.

A. Changelog

This section is non-normative.

The following summary of editorial, substantive, and registry changes are classified using the W3C Process Document Classes of Changes [W3C-PROCESS]:

B. Acknowledgements

The Community Group gratefully acknowledges the work that led to the creation of this specification, and extends sincere appreciation to those individuals that worked on technologies and specifications that deeply influenced our work.

The Community Group would like to thank the following individuals for their useful comments, both large and small, that have led to changes to this specification over the years:

  • Aaron Coburn
  • Abdurrahman Ibrahim Ghanem
  • Alain Bourgeois
  • Amy Guy
  • Andrei Sambra
  • Angelo Veltens
  • Arne Hassel
  • Daniel Bakas
  • Dmitri Zagidulin
  • elf Pavlik
  • Emelia Smith
  • Frederick Gibson
  • Henry Story
  • Herbert Van de Sompel
  • Jackson Morgan
  • Jeff Zucker
  • Jordan Shurmer
  • Kingsley Kidehen
  • Kjetil Kjernsmo
  • Matt Farmer
  • Matthieu Bosquet
  • Melvin Carvalho
  • Michiel de Jong
  • Mitzi László
  • Nicola Greco
  • mrkvon
  • Nick Mondada
  • Noel de Martin
  • Patrick Hochstenbach
  • Pete Edwards
  • Ruben Verborgh
  • Rui Zhao
  • Samu Lang
  • Sandro Hawke
  • Sarven Capadisli
  • Seila Gonzalez Estrecha
  • Ted Thibodeau Jr
  • Tim Berners-Lee
  • Timea Turdean
  • Virginia Balseiro
  • Wouter Termont

C. References

C.1 Normative References

Dublin Core Metadata Terms, version 1.1. DCMI Usage Board. DCMI. 11 October 2010. DCMI Recommendation. URL:
Fetch Standard. Anne van Kesteren. WHATWG. Living Standard. URL:
Media Types. IANA. URL:
Linked Data Notifications. Sarven Capadisli; Amy Guy. W3C. 2 May 2017. W3C Recommendation. URL:
Linked Data Platform 1.0. Steve Speicher; John Arwe; Ashok Malhotra. W3C. 26 February 2015. W3C Recommendation. URL:
RDF Schema 1.1. Dan Brickley; Ramanathan Guha. W3C. 25 February 2014. W3C Recommendation. URL:
RDF 1.1 Concepts and Abstract Syntax. Richard Cyganiak; David Wood; Markus Lanthaler. W3C. 25 February 2014. W3C Recommendation. URL:
Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate Requirement Levels. S. Bradner. IETF. March 1997. Best Current Practice. URL:
Uniform Resource Identifier (URI): Generic Syntax. T. Berners-Lee; R. Fielding; L. Masinter. IETF. January 2005. Internet Standard. URL:
The Web Origin Concept. A. Barth. IETF. December 2011. Proposed Standard. URL:
Ambiguity of Uppercase vs Lowercase in RFC 2119 Key Words. B. Leiba. IETF. May 2017. Best Current Practice. URL:
HTTP Semantics. R. Fielding, M. Nottingham, J. Reschke, Editors. IETF. June 2022. Internet Standard. URL:
HTTP/1.1. R. Fielding, M. Nottingham, J. Reschke, Editors. IETF. June 2022. Internet Standard. URL:
SOLID-OIDC. Aaron Coburn; elf Pavlik; Dmitri Zagidulin. W3C Solid Community Group. 28 March 2022. Version 0.1.0. URL:
Solid Protocol. Sarven Capadisli; Tim Berners-Lee; Kjetil Kjernsmo. W3C Solid Community Group. 12 May 2024. Draft Community Group Report, Version 0.11.0. URL:
Web Access Control. Sarven Capadisli. W3C Solid Community Group. 12 May 2024. Draft Community Group Report, Version 1.0.0. URL:
Architecture of the World Wide Web, Volume One. Ian Jacobs; Norman Walsh. W3C. 15 December 2004. W3C Recommendation. URL:
WebID 1.0. Andrei Sambra; Stéphane Corlosquet. W3C WebID Community Group. 5 March 2014. W3C Editor’s Draft. URL:

C.2 Informative References

Making Content Usable for People with Cognitive and Learning Disabilities. Lisa Seeman-Horwitz; Rachael Bradley Montgomery; Steve Lee; Ruoxi Ran. W3C. 29 April 2021. W3C Working Group Note. URL:
Privacy Principles. Robin Berjon; Jeffrey Yasskin. W3C. 18 May 2024. W3C Group Draft Note. URL:
Self-Review Questionnaire: Security and Privacy. Theresa O'Connor; Peter Snyder. W3C. 16 December 2021. W3C Group Note. URL:
W3C Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 3.0. Jeanne F Spellman; Alastair Campbell; Kevin White; Rachael Bradley Montgomery; Charles Adams. W3C. 16 May 2024. W3C Working Draft. URL:
W3C Process Document. Elika J. Etemad / fantasai; Florian Rivoal; W3C Process Community Group. 3 November 2023. URL: