Facebook has announced its first step into data portability with a new tool that allows you to transfer your photos and videos directly to Google Photos.
Facebook has been toying with different data portability options for years, and users have been able to download their Facebook data at any moment, directly. However, for the past few months, Facebook has been working on a different kind of tool – one that allows users to transfer their photos and videos directly to other services. The first of these services is Google Photos.
The tool starting to roll out this week “is based on code developed through [its] participation in the open-source Data Transfer Project” and will be available to users in Ireland for the time being.
Worldwide availability is planned within the first half of 2020, and users can access it in their Facebook settings within the Your Facebook Information section – exactly where you would go to download your information in the past.
Facebook says it has “kept privacy and security as top priorities, so all data transferred will be encrypted and people will be asked to enter their password before a transfer is initiated.” The company also says that the tool is still being tested and will refine it “based on feedback from people using it,” as well as from “conversations with stakeholders.”
The tool is part of a broader process by Facebook to understand what data should be portable, first of all, and then to allow users to move it whenever they like.
As Steve Satterfield, Director of Privacy and Public Policy at Facebook explains, in the announcement,
“We’ve learned from our conversations with policymakers, regulators, academics, advocates, and others that real-world use cases and tools will help drive policy discussions forward. That’s why we’re developing new products that take into account the feedback we’ve received and will help drive data portability policies forward by giving people and experts a tool to assess.”
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