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05/09/2009 by

Data Portability- Connect, Control, Share, Remix

More and more often discussions arise about Data Portability and about the Open Web. What is it, who uses it, and what can you do with it? A lot has been written about the subject, but a simple presentation from the Data Portability Workgroup already explains a lot.

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I have made a introduction to Data Portability after the jump.

What is Data Portability?

The official description would be: Data portability is the ability for people to reuse their data across interoperable applications. The DataPortability Project works to advance this vision by identifying, contextualizing and promoting efforts in the space.

In laymen terms this would mean: Data Portability enables you to share personal information, like your profile, photos and videos, can be shared between online services, mostly social networks.

The DataPortability project was founded by a group of people that created a workgroup by inviting industry thinkers in November 2007 to explore the idea of sharing personal information.

Who uses Data Portability?

In January 2008, several major web industry players supported the workgroup:  Google, Facebook and Plaxo followed by Drupal, Netvibes and Mystrands, and then LinkedIn, Flickr, Six Apart and Twitter, as well as Digg and Microsoft.

As shown, Data Portability is being supported by many parties and organisations.

Maybe you start to wonder why you have never heard of Data Portability, or perhaps have heard so little about this big development, but it is likely you have seen and even used it already.

Facebook Connect
One of the biggest parties enabling Data Portability is Facebook with their Facebook Connect option. As they have said in when launching this feature:

“We believe the next evolution of data portability is about much more than data. It’s about giving users the ability to take their identity and friends with them around the Web, while being able to trust that their information is always up to date and always protected by their privacy settings.”

After launching this feature developers started embracing the technology and implemented it in websites. Currently more than 10,000 websites already use this feature and it is continuously growing and expanding, making Facebook bigger and bigger by the day.

An interesting integration of Facebook Connect is a campaign from Sprite on YouTube Green Eyed World.


YouTube, which is owned by Google, has opened up for Facebook Connect, while Google has also been quite the busy bee in the Data Portability. Seeing this integration is a good example of two big names in the industry using data portability which in itself is very interesting for advertisers.

I hope to see more of the Data Portability project combinations.


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Marc Metekohy
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