Apple Joins Google, Microsoft in the Data Transfer Project to Enable iCloud Data Portability

Apple is teaming up with Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Twitter on a project to build an easier way for people to transfer data into and out of online services.

According to a new report from The Verge, the iPhone maker has officially joined the Data Transfer Project, or DTP, a collaboration that launched in July 2018. The project is aimed to make it easier to port data in and out of different online services by means of an open-source platform.

“Users should be in control of their data on the web … part of this is the ability to move their data. Currently, users can download a copy of their data from most services, but that is only half the battle in terms of moving their data. DTP aims [to make moving] data between providers significantly easier for users,” the project said on its site.

Most online services allow users to download all of their data to their computer. However, if you wanted that data to live in another service, you’d have to first download your data and then upload it to the new service. DTP tries to take out the middleman and transfer that data directly from one service to another.

In Apple’s case, it will contribute APIs and authorization mechanisms to allow transfers to and from iCloud. This will be similar to what Facebook offers with its Access Your Information tool and what Google has with Takeout. In both cases, the tools allow the user to quickly and easily download data to a hard drive.

The project is still in “very active development,” but you can follow along on GitHub. Tech-savvy folks can also try it out via Docker and Code. Instructions on the DTP site note that you’ll need API keys from the services you want to transfer data between.

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