Facebook’s new feature will enable users to transfer photos and videos they have uploaded to the platform to Google photos.
The social media giant says the service will roll out first in Ireland before it extends to other parts of the world in 2020 as well as to include other services in future, a move the company says is a commitment to “data portability.”
“It is critical that this kind of portability is not just for a handful of global giants, if it is going to encourage competition. There will also be potential privacy issues with data portability take risks when they move data to third parties, so companies and regulators will need to develop ways that deal with rogue actors.”
Facebook said in a blog post that it had worked on the data transfer project for a year with an aim to build a common ground for people to transfer their data between online services.
“The goal of this project has been to make it easier for services of any size to securely make direct transfers for data portability from one service to another and make the process simpler for the people who use these services.”
Considering the risks that may come with sharing data between services, Facebook said it had considered risks and put measures in place.
“Any mechanism to send data outside a service carries risks. We have put measures in place to mitigate these risks.”
Apple, Google, Microsoft and Twitter are involved in the collaboration in developing the open source framework. Instead of allowing individual companies to build its own system from scratch, this data transfer project will allow them share improvements and create room for unlimited updates.
Here is what this framework can achieve: if for instance, a company wants to send an existing data type to a new service, they will only have to create a new Data Transfer Project importer for that data type if it is using the Data Transfer Project Framework. This new importer could be contributed back to the open source file so other companies can export to that new service without an additional technical work that would require time and money (if possible).
Aside from ensuring risk control, the social network promises reliability. If for instance an individual transfers thousands of photos at once, the platform will ensure that the recipient of the data is able to manage the volume without causing an overload.