Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Twitter announce open-source Data Transfer Project framework

Written almost 2 years ago by IanDorfman

In the wake of the European Union's GDPR legislation being enacted, major tech firms are working together to ensure data portability is easier for users of some of the Internet's most ubiquitous services.

Citing the desire for Internet users to have more control over their data, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Twitter have all simultaneously announced their participation in the 2017 formation of the Data Transfer Project (DTP). Described on the framework's official website as a "service-to-service data portability platform so that all individuals across the web could easily move their data between online service providers whenever they want."

The goal of the framework is to allow users of major Internet services (such as Small Gmail iconGmail, Small Twitter iconTwitter, and Small YouTube iconYouTube) ) to transfer their data easily. To do this, Google describes the companies involved as "developing tools that can convert any service's proprietary APIs to and from a small set of standardized data formats that can be used by anyone." This is to allow existing data authorization infrastructure, such as Small OAuth iconOAuth, to transfer data between two separate service providers with ease.

Multiple measures are being taken to ensure the process maintains data privacy and security. Regardless of whether data is being actively transferred or sitting idle, it is encrypted, with perfect forward secrecy being used to generate a unique key for each time data is transferred from any one location to another.

According to the Data Transfer Project's GitHub page, the project is still in early development, requesting for more organizations and users to help define the project's architecture and implementation.

As this news had a large amount of links to external sources, they can all be found below:
The official Data Transfer Project website
The Data Transfer Project's white paper
Google's official GitHub page for the Data Transfer Project
Facebook's official announcement
Google's official announcement
Microsoft's official announcement
Twitter's official announcement
Engadget's coverage
TechCrunch's coverage
VentureBeat's coverage
The Verge's coverage