Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter want to make your data portable

22 July, 2018, 18:58 | Author: Sammy Rose
  • DTP Flow

DTP takes advantage of the existing APIs and authorization mechanisms for each service, transferring the data supplied into a common format, then moving it into the new service's API.

In news originating from the Data Transfer Project, which was founded past year, large sites including Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Instagram, Flickr, and Twitter will now be able to use information already uploaded on one service to populate the same user's account on another platform. For example, you might use Instagram app where you share photos publicly, Facebook app where you share updates with friends, and Fitbit fitness app for tracking your workouts. Under the DTP, consumers will also be able to directly transfer data (like photos, mail, contacts, calendars, and tasks) in and out of any participating provider.

At the moment, it is unlikely if a Facebook user will decide to leave the platform for another social networking company taking their data with them since there is barely any competition. These are the kinds of issues the Data Transfer Project will tackle. Services that sign up to be part of the Data Transfer Project can use their existing security features for authentication, which results in fewer barriers of entry for companies that want to offer transfers to their users. "The Project is in its early stages, and we hope more organizations and experts will get involved", said Steve Satterfield, Privacy & Public Policy Director at Facebook.

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The tech giants also released a white paper on this project.

According to Damien Kieran, Data Protection Officer at Twitter, right now, much of the online products and services we use do not interact with each other in a coherent and intuitive fashion. With DTP, partner companies are creating a more straightforward approach to data portability.

"For people on slow or low bandwidth connections, service-to-service portability will be especially important where infrastructure constraints and expense make importing and exporting data to or from the user's system impractical if not almost impossible", said Craig Shank, Vice President for Corporate Standards at Microsoft.

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