Facebook has announced that it is launching a new feature of social network accounts, which will allow users to migrate photos stored on the company’s servers to those of another service. For starters, they will be automatically transferable to Google Photos, with future migration to many similar services, under the understanding of the Data Transfer Project that the company and several other technology giants have signed.
The Data Transfer Project was an agreement between Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Twitter to allow the development of common tools. These would facilitate the rapid and effortless transfer of users between platforms, being able to take personal data from one place to the other. In the first example of implementation of this project, the photos stored in the Facebook personal account can be automatically transferred to Google Photos, and can then be accessed using a Google account.
This capability is currently being launched in a test version in Ireland and will be officially launched in other regions in the next few months. In fact, Facebook says the ability to transfer photos to Google Photos will be available globally in the first half of 2020, so we won’t have to wait for too long.
While this feature offers the mirage of personal data control, it only provides other companies with user data. Basically, Facebook does not completely give up your data once it has been transferred. Google receives only a copy of the data, the originals still being present on Facebook’s servers. To ensure that Facebook no longer holds your data you will need to manually delete your account. This also applies to other services that will obey the rules of the Data Transfer Project in the future.
An advantage for users is the simplicity with which you can populate your online presence from another platform, using the content already available. This will save the user the time needed to manually download the photos and then upload them to another service.
Facebook also encourages other companies to join the Data Transfer Project, in addition to Apple, Microsoft, Google and Twitter, saying that this capability could in the future help address privacy issues that users have identified in the past.