Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Data Portability Policy Statements

Image representing DataPortability as depicted...Image via CrunchBase
The DataPortability Project has announced a data portability policy statement and released a tool to create a statement for your organization.
The heart of the Portability Policy is a set of plain language questions that we hope will become a common vocabulary between software users and providers. Through these questions, a provider can disclose what they do or do not, to enable data portability. Eventually, we intend to release machine-readable version of these policies.

Data portability applies to a much broader set of software products than just social networks. The promise of data portability is that everyone benefits when work can be repurposed – by yourself with other tools or by other people. Any tool that lets people enter or organize their digital “stuff” should control how that stuff can be reused. Text documents, music play lists, pictures, and research data are just as valuable to share as “friend lists” and address books.

We do not promote any particular technology or approach; there are no right or wrong answers. While a social network might want to illustrate the myriad ways that they connect people and allow for data portability, a service focused on deeply personal medical or financial issues might want to highlight the fact that they allow no portability at all. Our intent is simply to increase communication and ensure that both parties — visitors and the service itself — each know what they should expect from the other.
If your site provides APIs or not this is a nice easy way to let people know.

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