Disclaimer: I work in Google's Policy Team, developing multistakeholder cooperations for internet governance & policy themes, hence I want to point out that all the opinions and ruminations on this blog are mine, not Google's.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Google's Data Libertation Front

I just learned that there is a Google code team working to enable users to extract their data (email, contacts, blog-posts, etc.) and move it between different services. That would put the users in the driving seat regarding data ownership and increase competition on data security and privacy.

Here are the Goals of the Data Liberation Front as stated:

  • Liberate data across web services.
  • Make that data portable across cooperating web services.
  • Allow users to own their own data which is submitted to the Cloud.
  • Do anything else to allow users to have fine-grained, easy access, and control of their data.

This is pretty much along the lines of what Eric Schmitt was saying back in 2006:
We build a very good targeting engine and a lot of business success has come from that. We run the company around the users–so as long as we are respecting the rights of end users and make sure we don’t do anything against their interest, we are fine,” Schmidt said. He noted that history has shown that the downfall of companies can be doing things for their own self interest. “We would never trap user data,” (ZDnet interview, bold added)

Really looking forward to learn more about this initiative!

You can follow them on twitter: http://twitter.com/dataliberation

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