FACEBOOK, GOOGLE, MICROSOFT AND TWITTER have put their heads together and united to figure out a way to make data transfers between their services a doddle.
The open-source Data Transfer Project is the initiative, with the idea to create a flexible "data portability ecosystem", whereby "Adapters" will be used to untangle API into ways to pass data easily between their services.
Adapters will take care of both the import and export of data, as well as the verification and protection of users. As such, if the project is successful it shroud enable people to say transfer a load of files from Microsoft OneDrive to Google Drive without needing to download and then upload a bunch of files and folders.
"Consumers will benefit from improved flexibility and control over their data. They will be able to import their information into any participating service that offers compelling features—even brand new ones that could rely on powerful, cloud-based infrastructure rather than the consumers' potentially limited bandwidth and capability to transfer files," explained Brian Willard, software engineer and Greg Fair, product manager at Google.
While the project is still in its early days, it's available to the open source community to have a good old fiddle with it.
And the whole thing makes sense, making life easier for customers and users, as well as being an indicator that big tech firms can play nicely together even though one could argue that some of their services compete with one another.
Twitter's data protection office Damien Kieran went once step further, sort of envisioning the Data transfer Project in a pseudo-tech-hippy fashion where 'everyone is cool man, spread the love and positive vibes'.
"At Twitter, we feel strongly that portability and interoperability are central to innovation on the internet. We believe that a more frictionless, individually-driven forms of data transfer between online platforms and services will result in an innovative, creative, and people-first online experience for all," he said.
"Making it easier for users to choose among services also facilitates competition, empowering everyone to try new services and choose the offering that best suits their individual needs."
Of course, slick data transfer is all well and good providing it doesn't end up with information being plonked in the hands of people who should have it, as Facebook discovered with the Cambridge Analytica data scandal. µ
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