Microsoft, Google, and others join forces to help consumers move data between online services

Arif Bacchus

Microsoft India

Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and Twitter might be rivals, but sometimes the tech companies come together for the better good for consumers. In one of these moments today the quartet announced the Data Transfer Project (DTP), which is a new way to help consumers move their data between online services (via The Verge.)

The four companies are announcing the standards for the DPT and their webpage details that it is “still in very active development.” Under the DTP, consumers will also be able to directly transfer data (like photos, mail, contacts, calendars, and tasks) in and out of any participating provider. This is perfect for trying out a new service, leaving a service, or just performing a simple backup of data.

The entire project is open source and available on GitHub, in order to encourage as many providers as possible to come on board. Interested parties will need the API keys from the online services they want to port data between in order to use DTP. According to the DTP website:

Data Transfer Project (DTP) extends data portability beyond downloading a copy of your data from your service provider, to providing consumers the ability to directly transfer data in and out of any participating provider. Data Transfer Project is an open source initiative to encourage participation of as many Providers as possible. DTP will enhance the data portability ecosystem by reducing the infrastructure burden on both service providers and users which should in turn increase the number of services offering portability. The protocols and methodology of DTP enable direct, service-to-service data transfer with streamlined engineering work.

At a time when privacy is becoming more of a concern, the DTP further puts users in control of the data they share on the web. You can learn more about the DTP by downloading the White Paper.