Google ramps up its data portability as a weapon push

Google ramps up its data portability as a weapon push

Summary: Will data portability ultimately win over consumers? Google thinks so, but it's too early to tell.

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TOPICS: Apps, Google
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Google on Tuesday said that Google Voice users will be able to export data---call history, voice mail and the like---in its latest effort to use portability of information as a winning sales pitch.

The search giant solidified its data liberation pitch when it launched Google+ and Google Voice is just the latest product to be added to the mix. The so-called Data Liberation Front boils down to this:

The Data Liberation Front is an engineering team at Google whose singular goal is to make it easier for users to move their data in and out of Google products. We do this because we believe that you should be able to export any data that you create in (or import into) a product. We help and consult other engineering teams within Google on how to "liberate" their products.

Notice the positioning. Google goes for the open data exporting riff against Facebook, which allows you to download your information, but the process is a bit clunky. You see where this Google push is going. The company will quietly roll out new services for data backup. Google Voice today. YouTube tomorrow. Ultimately, all of your content on Google will be downloaded.

What's unclear is whether users care about data liberation, which is important when you want to leave a service. However, if you're a happily captive customer---like many folks on Facebook---Google's data portability argument will fall flat.

Indeed, I haven't heard of anyone---at least among non-techies---clamoring for a data takeout service. Clearly Google Takeout is a nice to have, but is it a death blow to other services? Probably not.

However, this data liberation effort is a good best practice to follow. If Google can get things that really matter to the average bear---notably those videos of your kids on YouTube---prepped for backup it may have a winning effort in the long run.

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Topics: Apps, Google

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14 comments
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  • I agree with the consensus opinion

    The ability to get out of a bad product solution is less important to me than finding a good solution. GrandCentral (Google Voice) always has been a solid product. If it would integrate better with its existing offers, maybe I would consider getting back in with Google's tech. However, as it stands now, I will only use Google voice as a standalone offering because it meets my needs.
    Your Non Advocate
    • RE: Google ramps up its data portability as a weapon push

      @facebook@... Read the book "Tipping Point". The people clamoring for this service (and those providing it) are Mavens. Individual consumers don't care about data 'take out' until suddenly they find they need it.. in much the same way people who use roads don't care about the composition of them until their suspension is ruined by eight inch deep potholes on the freeway.
      relativityboy
  • This is a very good thing for Google to do

    I am one of the growing legions of Google detractors. Quite frankly, they scare me. Furthermore, I am not at all sure this move makes business sense.

    But credit where credit is due: this is a fantastic thing for them to offer their users. Hats off to Google for this.
    x I'm tc
    • RE: Google ramps up its data portability as a weapon push

      @jdakula Exporting your data does not mean that Google will delete it when you leave.
      Stark_Industries
      • RE: Google ramps up its data portability as a weapon push

        @Stark_Industries
        And thus the scared part.

        But, it's better to be able to leave than not, no?
        x I'm tc
    • RE: Google ramps up its data portability as a weapon push

      @jdakula
      Well the way I see it is when someone cracks a Google account all they need to do now is just a few clicks and that person is owned... Literally. Good job Google! You just made it that much easier to steal ones identity... Now that you have to use all your REAL info on G- you have all you need... Instead of a user becoming aware their account may be violated and changing their password before any more damage or damage in the first place is done it is super easy to take all and browse over it on your local machine (for those who aren't stupid enough to rush to the cloud e.g. Chrome OS). Sheep... All sheep.
      audidiablo
  • RE: Google ramps up its data portability as a weapon push

    Nobody seems to care about Data Portability until they need it and are denied access. Companies support Data Portability when it is good for them and doesn?t conflict with their larger agendas, otherwise it is mostly ignored. And, of course, all of this changes on a moment?s notice and subject to the prevailing wind.

    The real power of true Data Portability lies in its ability to extend and enhance not only existing services like Google and Facebook, but to facilitate entire ecosystems that reward innovation, value-add, and usefulness while chastising the walled gardens and private silos ? or at the very least keeping them in their place.

    --Steve Repetti
    Chairman, DataPortability.org
    www.radwebtech.com
    srepetti
  • Google is fighting for us

    the data liberation front is the best example why google is on your side!
    The Linux Geek
    • RE: Google ramps up its data portability as a weapon push

      @The Linux Geek
      You are out of your mind. Google is on Google's side.
      x I'm tc
  • RE: Google ramps up its data portability as a weapon push

    I think this is a selling point to corporate users. They can now say "try it and if you don't like it, you can take your data and try something else." This takes a large scare factor out of negotiations. Once they get users in, the users can decide if google docs is "good enough" for the price.
    normcf
  • It's not a first

    It's not the first attempt from Google here and at least, it shows a concern. The ability to be able to export our data is a pretty good thing and it should win customers. But I think that above all, Google is one of the first to be aware that it's a sales point.

    And this is a great strategy. Google is simply bidding that being able to "own our data" will 1. someday be a hot legal issue 2. allows people to interoperate their data sets with other applications (that Google can then buy or learn from) 3. allows paranoid people to manually backup their own data 4. only a small fraction to move to another service or application, but only if you don't provide a better product yourself... 5. so to prevent that small fraction of users, they only need to be good... something they've been pretty good at so far, plus it gives them clear business goals : just be one step ahead of everyone else :)

    By allowing people to export their data, it also allows them to make backups and to interoperate with other applications.
    Silex
  • RE: Google ramps up its data portability as a weapon push

    Personally, I would welcome the ability to backup my GMail (which has sort of become my personal and professional lifeblood) - heaven forbid, if it ever gets hacked and wiped, I'd really be up $#!7 creek trying to re-add my network of contacts and messages.
    jmwells21
  • RE: Google ramps up its data portability as a weapon push

    Being able to export your data is NOT data portability.
    bwalker
  • RE: Google ramps up its data portability as a weapon push

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