Tech giants are teaming up to make it easier to port your data among services.
Microsoft, Google, Twitter, and Facebook have partnered to form the Data Transfer Project (DTP), a new initiative whose goal it is to make transferring your data among services much easier. Initially founded in 2017, DTP’s aim is to create an open-source platform that apps and services can take on, ultimately stoking competition by giving consumers the capability to easily try out new services while keeping data they’ve built upon another (via The Verge).
“Data Transfer Project (DTP) extends data portability further on downloading a copy of your data from your service provider, to providing consumers with the capability to directly transfer data in and out of any participating provider,” the project’s website states.
DTP takes advantage of the existing APIs and permission mechanisms for every service, transferring the data supplied into a general format, then moving it into the new service’s API. This can be used for everything from contact information and email to media like photos and music.
DTP is currently in “very active development,” but it’s not hard to see how helpful an open standard for portable data could be for consumers. As an example, porting playlists among music services, which is currently a major barrier for a lot of, could be automated through DTP. In the same way, giving another email app a try could be made much easier by automating the transfer of your contact data.
Of course, all of this pivots on main services eventually adopting DTP. Still, given the open nature of the project, it’s simple to envision more companies hopping on board.