Is this an example of Google doing the right thing? Brian Fitzpatrick of Google’s Data Liberation engineerings team:
Google’s Data Liberation Front… aims to make it easy for our users to transfer their personal data in and out of Google’s services by building simple import and export functions.
Why is Google doing this?
At the heart of this lies our strong commitment to an open web run on open standards. 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.
How does this compare to Apple and Microsoft’s efforts to lock in users?
We’d rather have loyal users who use Google products because they’re innovative – not because they lock users in. You can think of this as a long-term strategy to retain loyal users, rather than the short-term strategy of making it hard for people to leave.
Commendable. What’s the progress report?
We’ve already liberated over half of all Google products, from our popular blogging platform Blogger, to our email service Gmail, and Google developer tools including App Engine.
Without fences, will Google users need or want to escape?