Putting people first on data portability

Friday, 20 July 2018

At Twitter we believe in providing you with the tools you need to control your data and with the means to know exactly how it is used and for what purpose. We also believe that you should have control over how you transfer information between the online products and services that you use. That is why we, alongside our peers at Google, Microsoft, and Facebook, are formally launching the Data Transfer Project (DTP).

The opportunity

Right now, much of the online products and services we use do not interact with each other in a coherent and intuitive fashion. Information that is housed on one platform can not be easily and securely transferred to other services. This is not a positive collective experience for the people who use our services and we are keen to work through some of the challenges as an industry. The Data Transfer Project is an open source initiative aiming to empower any company to create tools that enable people to freely move their information across the web - without barriers. To start, our companies want to share experiences and knowledge to carve out a positive path forward.

At Twitter, we feel strongly that portability and interoperability are central to innovation on the internet. We believe that a more frictionless, individually-driven forms of data transfer between online platforms and services will result in an innovative, creative, and people-first online experience for all. Making it easier for users to choose among services also facilitates competition, empowering everyone to try new services and choose the offering that best suits their individual needs. This facilitative and collaborative spirit of openness is the principled bedrock of our free and open internet. It is a principle we at Twitter are dedicated to furthering.

What’s next?

Alongside Google, Microsoft, and Facebook, we’ve produced a white paper that’s designed to set the course we want to chart as this project evolves. In keeping with our overarching principles around transparency and accountability, this process of information sharing between our companies and the related work streams will be open for all to scrutinise, critique, and to build off. To find out more and to help us along our way, please visit the dedicated GitHub Data Transfer Project site.

As always, we will keep you updated on our progress. This will take time but we are very excited to work with innovators and passionate people from other companies to ensure we are putting you first. Fundamentally this about pushing towards a more open and dynamic internet for you to engage with and one that places the control and the power in your hands.

Follow @Policy for more updates.

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