Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter are coming together. Yes, that may take some time to sink but the stalwarts of dotcom era businesses are participating in a Data Transfer Project that aims to make it easier for people to carry their data from one platform to another.
The companies say they are launching this tool in order to give people more control over their online data and make it easier for them to download it. The Data Transfer Project will also help users move their data between services, which remains a major pain point at this moment. The announcement regarding this collaboration comes after US prosecutors investigated tech platforms over their data practice and the looming possibility of a wide-scale regulation on their business practices.
With Data Transfer Project, these tech companies plan to build an open-source, service-to-service data portability tool that will help these users move data between online service providers. The project will plug into existing technology APIs of different platforms and authorization methods to access data. Once the data is accessed, it transfer the data into a format that will be supported by all these platforms.
“The contributors to the Data Transfer Project believe portability and interoperability are central to innovation. Making it easier for individuals to choose among services facilitates competition, empowers individuals to try new services and enables them to choose the offering that best suits their needs,” according to the project’s website.
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The DTP is still very much in active development but those savvy with tech can try the service via Docker and Code. The website notes that those planning to test the service will need API keys from the services they want to transfer data from and to. In its own blog post, Microsoft called for more collaboration from tech companies and stating that “portability and interoperability are central to cloud innovation and competition.”