Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Twitter have jointly announced an open source project named the Data Transfer Project. The project creates a service-to-service data portability platform. The goal of the project is to empower users to easily move data across online service providers. The companies pitch the Data Transfer Project as a key to innovation in the next generation of compute.
“The contributors to the Data Transfer Project believe portability and interoperability are central to innovation,” the Data Transfer Project homesite says. “Making it easier for individuals to choose among services facilitates competition, empowers individuals to try new services and enables them to choose the offering that best suits their needs.”
The project team has focused on innovation when pitching the project. Sample use cases the team gives include trying out a new service, leaving a service, and backing up data. But, as mentioned in some of the companies’ announcements, the recent GDPR implementation, and the other legislation that will inevitably arise, has aided in the the project’s fruition.
The Data Transfer Project is building a single framework for connecting two online service providers. The code is open source with a goal of providing seamless, direct, user initiated portability. The framework uses existing APIs from the target service and standard authorization mechanisms (e.g. OAuth). The company has published a white paper with more specifics.
The code is not ready for use yet. For those looking to try it out, the Project has published two sets of instructions for testing (Via Docker, and Via Code). Each company has posted their own announcement of the project, each with a unique color. You can check each out at the following links: Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter.