Facebook Elaborates On Its Data Portability Measures, Pushes For Legislation

Facebook is pushing for rules that make it easier for users to move media from the company’s platform to a competing technology.

The move was made public in comments sent to the Federal Trade Commission ahead of a hearing on the topic on Sept. 22.

The report, which was sent to the FTC on August 21, 2020, also talks about building portability tools that “people can trust and use effectively.”

“Although some laws already guarantee the right to portability, our experience suggests that companies and people would benefit from additional guidance about what it means to put those rules into practice,” according to the report.

The social media company in April began allowing users in the United States and Canada to move media to Google Photos for the first time. This could help Facebook’s case as investigators look into competitive practices.

“The FTC often issues reports following these workshops … ,” Facebook Privacy and Public Policy Manager Bijan Madhani told Reuters. “I think their recommendations should include dedicated portability legislation.”

Facebook also acknowledged that the bipartisan Access Act is a positive initial step. The bill would mandate that big tech firms allow users to have the ability to port their data to different platforms. Data portability has been a major part in the antitrust conversation.

The report also provides a list of the ways users can port certain digital property from their platform to another.

In 2018, for example, Facebook announced its participation in the Data Transfer Project, a collaborative effort with Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Twitter to build a common way for people to transfer their data between online services.

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