Say what you will about big pan-European government corroding civil liberties or some such, but when it comes to applying pressure on the Silicon Valley giants to change their ways, there is nobody like it.
Google and Apple already felt the wrath of European regulators for their monopolistic and tax evasive practices, and started changing their ways. Now is the time for Facebook to shine by moving faster with its personal data export mandate.
The social giant posted
a buff PR piece that says it is building on the decade-old project to allow users offloading of their information from Facebook, whether because they decided to close their account, or for backup purposes.
Now, however, Facebook is building on “the principle of data portability, which gives people control and choice while also encouraging innovation.” Yeah, alright, never mind the regulatory scrutiny and oversight pressure, all is well when it ends well for consumers, or their posted Facebook media, for that matter.
Starting in Ireland, Facebook will be offering a free tool for exporting your pictures and videos to Google Photos, “based on code developed through our participation in the open-source Data Transfer Project.” Facebook will be rolling the photos export tool to more countries in 2020, and will likely be developing a similar tool for extracting your content to Apple’s platforms, too, given that Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Twitter are all part of the Data Transfer Project.
Sign of the times, and the press release does say that Facebook hopes the other signatories will follow suit:
We want to build practical portability solutions people can trust and use effectively. To foster that trust, people and online services need clear rules about what kinds of data should be portable and who is responsible for protecting that data as it moves to different services. We hope this product can help advance conversations on the privacy questions we identified in our white paper. We know we can’t do this alone, so we encourage other companies to join the Data Transfer Project to expand options for people and continue to push data portability innovation forward.