data portability

Google, Facebook and consumer choice

Google and Facebook have been making headlines lately. The world’s most
popular search engine and the world’s most popular social network are
increasingly facing off in Goliath versus Goliath battles as they fight
for dominance on tomorrow’s consumer internet.

One key battleground that has emerged: ‘data portability.’ The two
Silicon Valley powerhouses have been locked in a public, back-and-forth
argument over the ability of individuals to import and export their
personal data to and from their respective services.

Facebook’s new data download feature: the good, the bad, the ugly

On Wednesday, the world’s largest social network, Facebook, announced
several new features.  One of the biggest: a new “Download Your
Information” feature that, as the name hints, gives Facebook users the
ability to export and download much of their profile information in a
single ZIP file.

It’s something that just a year or two ago probably would have been
inconceivable. After all, if Facebook controls your content, chances are
you won’t leave Facebook. But at 500m users and growing, Facebook
doesn’t seem concerned that freeing user data will lead to a mass
exodus.