Google unlocks data restrictions, announces Data Liberation efforts

Google unlocks data restrictions, announces Data Liberation efforts

Summary: Google is unlocking its data door by launching a new initiative called Data Liberation, an approach to engineering that allows users to move their data - be it pictures, mail or documents - from Google's servers to any other location.In a blog post this morning, Data Liberation engineering manager Brian Fitzpatrick, uses a good analogy to explain why the company sees this is an important step:Imagine you want to move out of your apartment.

SHARE:

Google is unlocking its data door by launching a new initiative called Data Liberation, an approach to engineering that allows users to move their data - be it pictures, mail or documents - from Google's servers to any other location.

In a blog post this morning,

Imagine you want to move out of your apartment. When you ask your landlord about the terms of your previous lease, he says that you are free to leave at any time; however, you cannot take all of your things with you - not your photos, your keepsakes, or your clothing. If you're like most people, a restriction like this may cause you to rethink moving altogether. Not only is this a bad situation for you as the tenant, but it's also detrimental to the housing industry as a whole, which no longer has incentive to build better apartments at all. Although this may seem like a strange analogy, this pretty accurately describes the situation my team, Google's Data Liberation Front, is working hard to combat from an engineering perspective.

It wasn't so long ago that Facebook took a bit of a PR hit when the company changed its terms and services to basically give "ownership" of user data to Facebook - or at least that's how it was perceived. Since then, the idea of users keeping data behind a locked Internet door that they don't hold the keys to has become a buzz point. Yahoo, when it announced its new home page last month, was quick to note how it was enabling users to pull data from other Web properties and view it from the Yahoo home page.

Apparently, it's hip to be open these days. Fitzpatrick's post continues:

We think open is better than closed -- not because closed is inherently bad, but because when it's easy for users to leave your product, there's a sense of urgency to improve and innovate in order to keep your users. When your users are locked in, there's a strong temptation to be complacent and focus less on making your product better.

The company has already liberated about half of its products - from Blogger to Gmail - and has plans to liberate Google Sites and Google Docs, with batch exports, in the coming months. The company has also launched a separate site to further explain its data liberation efforts.

Topics: Browser, Collaboration, Google

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

5 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • We must remain vigilant, and keep pushing Google to keep everything open,

    but, this is great news, and shows Google
    commitment to users. Even users that do not pay
    them even one cent for services.
    DonnieBoy
  • RE: Google unlocks data restrictions, announces Data Liberation efforts

    "We think open is better than closed ? not because ......"

    Forget their supposed reason, the REAL reason is that if they (and others) don't do this, there is no chance the cloud will be adopted to any large extent by the enterprise.

    Good move, and way to be a leader Google, now on to a few more.
    djmik
  • RE: Google unlocks data restrictions, announces Data Liberation efforts

    firefox take note...

    barnum42
  • RE: Google unlocks data restrictions, announces Data Liberation efforts

    I don't see what the big deal is. Most services now offer the ability to export your stuff. Google has just packaged it neatly under this "data liberation" title. Hotmail, using POP or auto-forwarding can do the same thing. Or, using Windows Live Mail, you can literally add your hotmail account, then add another IMAP account, and just copy/paste the folders from one to the other - it doesn't get any easier than that. Windows Live Photos allows easy downloading as well.
    jntowers
  • RE: Google unlocks data restrictions, announces Data Liberation efforts

    An individual determined a variety of high-quality fine details generally there. I did so some explore on the credit debt [url=http://www.cheap-nfljerseys-shop.com/]buffalo bills jerseys[/url] together [url=http://www.cheap-nfljerseys-shop.com/]bill jerseys[/url] with considered especially countless adults could possibly have the [url=http://www.cheap-nfljerseys-shop.com/]bills jerseys[/url] same evaluate in your internet.
    dfwekrwe4601-24353682600127612526006987982220