"Data Portability"....Sigh

So after the hub-bub of the original 3 announcements by MySpace, Facebook, and Google on the various "data portability" initiatives I've had time to investigate little deeper into each initiative.

I will state first, that while all three implementations of so-called data portability are lacking-- in some cases more than others, and while some barely qualify as actually porting one's data and accessing it wherever they please, I do think there is still one important thing to be said for all of it: at least we're starting on the road to get there.

Yes, Goog's Friend Connect is nothing more than a bunch of iframes and their agenda is to push their Open Social apps; yes MySpace's Data Availability doesn't actually allow sites to cache any information (and thus not actually allowing for portability-- but to be fair they do call it "availability" which they do, they make data available, not portable); and yes, now in the name of "user privacy protection" Facebook is not allowing Goog's Friend Connect to access its API (mother Facebook apparently knows better than us who we want to share our data with)--BUT..its a step. A baby step now fraught with embattled players, but a step nonetheless.

Now, as for this Facebook/Google scuffle....contrary to what Scoble says, its not Google thats in the wrong. How can Facebook, in an act of "protecting user privacy" deny me, the user, the right to allow Google to access my data?? Facebook doesn't care about user privacy, they care about maintaining their control over user currency whilst under the guise of participating in an open web. As for Google wanting to be the middle man, well thats no surprise. And contrary to some of Facebook's statements about Google not allowing for the discontinuation of data access (among other things), Google is taking precautionary measures to ensure user privacy (again though, its not perfect).

We still seem a way off from creating a decentralized Giant Global Graph, one that lives in the Cloud and free from the walled gardens of the social nets themselves....but I still think these first toe-dippings are a good sign. Its exciting nonetheless-- not because of the current implementations but because of the promise.

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