Tech giants working on universal data portability project
MANILA, Philippines - Tech giants Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Twitter announced on Friday, July 20, they were joining forces for an open-source initiative called the Data Transfer Project. The project aims to make moving data from one service to another much easier.
The current version of the project reportedly supports the transfer of contacts, mail, photos, calendar information, and tasks using publicly available application programming interface (APIs) from Google, Microsoft, Twitter, Flickr, Instagram, and a few others. For instance, Instagram’s data will work with Flickr and vice-versa.
The idea of transferring data across different platforms is not entirely new. What sets this project apart is that it develops a one-size-fits-all set of standards will make it possible for users to directly transfer their data between cloud services.
Google,explained in a blog post, “The organizations involved with this project are developing tools that can convert any service's proprietary APIs to and from a small set of standardized data formats that can be used by anyone.”
Currently, users can transfer data by downloading it from online or offline storage then re-uploading it to other platforms. This process of importing and exporting data becomes simplified under the right implementation of the project..
Regarding concerns of data privacy and safety, Google assured users the data would be encrypted as it is transferred or while it is at rest.
The open-source code would also be available on GitHub here, free to be inspected by anyone, including users.
A project on data transfer from companies caught in the crossfires of controversy may raise some red flags but, Microsoft, in its own blog post, said “portability and interoperability are central to cloud innovation and competition.”
“Data portability between services is an important, simple concept and a deeply complex technology challenge. We encourage others in the industry to join us in advancing a broader view of the data portability ecosystem,” Microsoft added.
The platforms already involved are now inviting others to join to help make the project more effective. “We encourage the developer community to join us and help extend the platform to support many more data types, service providers, and hosting solutions,” Google said. – Rappler.com