Microsoft, Google, Twitter and Facebook have jointly announced the Data Transfer Project. When finished it will enable data to move from one platform to another.

Sounds complex – it is. Until now it involved a complex set of API (application programming interfaces) talking to another set of APIs. Often resulting in data jumble.

Data Transfer Project

It is still a while away but the overview paper says the Data Transfer Project (DTP) extends data portability beyond a user’s ability (that is us) to download a copy of their data from their service provider (like Facebook), to provide the user with the ability to initiate a direct transfer of their data into and out of any participating provider.

The data transfer project is all about data portability. Your data where you want it.

DTP Partners believe that people should use products because they provide unique value and features. If a user wants to switch to another product or service, they should be able to do so as easily as possible. This concept of allowing users to choose products and services based on choice. Rather than being locked in as it will help drive innovation and facilitate competition.

Data portability can also provide security benefits for users. Practical tools that let users backup or archive important information organise information within multiple accounts; recover from account hijacking; and retrieve data from deprecated services all work to improve user security.

So what does the Data Transfer Project this mean?

Individuals have many reasons to transfer data, but we want to highlight a few examples that demonstrate the additional value of service-to-service portability.