On Friday, July 20, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter announced the launch of the Data Transfer Project (DTP), a joint initiative to create a common open-source, service-to-service data portability platform that will allow their users - and users of other participating sites and services - to easily transfer their data from one platform to another.
This is the first major initiative developed by the big names of the World-Wide Web from the day when the GDPR came into force with its Right to Data Portability (Article 20). The project might be worth noticing for at least two reasons:
- It demonstrates that the market-leading platforms which built their services upon collecting personal data can - and should - implement the data portability rights through the creation of a unique, shared interface.
- The open-source mindset of the whole project, which is without a doubt a great opportunity for any other platform to adopt the same technology without additional costs, giving the users the chance to exercise their rights through a centralized interface, which will be also (hopefully) easy to understand and, therefore, to use.
The project was announced for the first time by Google in this post on the opensource.googleblog.com website, the blog dedicated to the latest open-source news and projects released by the Mountain View giant: the project description explains how the data transfer will take place through a service-to-service connections between the affected parties, without having the end users worry about downloading and uploading their data.
The DTP project was also mentioned in this Microsoft post on their EU Policy Blog, where the Redmond company extended the invite to other companies in order to grant the users a common experience and give birth to a widely-adopted data portability standard, arguably providing the users with a better competition regime between the various service providers.
The message definitely seems aimed to the only missing big player: we're obviously talking about Apple, which hasn't released any practical info regarding the GDPR's Data Portability compliance as of today other than what's already covered by their Data & Privacy Portal released on May, 23th: we sincerely hope that the Cupertino company will fill that gap in the next few days, possibly even enlisting their services to the DTP initiative.
For additional info, we strongly suggest to take a look at the following online resources:
- Data Transfer Project - Overview and Fundamentals (aka DTP Overview).
- Data Transfer Project - From Theory to Practice (aka Google Whitepaper v4), where Google explains their implementation approach to DTP with the intent of integrating it with their previous data-management projects such as the Data Liberation Front (2007) and Google Takeout (2011).
- Data Transfer Project - Source Code on GitHub, the open-source repository containing the DTP updated source code.