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Facebook Plans on Improving Portability Features Before FTC Hearing

Facebook plans on improving portability features before FTC hearing

Facebook is looking forward to expanding the data that is being transferred by its users to various platforms. The social networking giant has admitted that it would like to improvise a lot on data portability “in the coming months.” 

Facebook has also revealed some plans to bring about improvements in the photo portability tool, which was launched last year. It has given out a few “possible examples” with regards to the same. The tech giant has put forth a proposal stating that going forward. It would permit users to relocate media that has been created and shared on Facebook to any of its competitor platforms. Users would also be allowed to copy their “most meaningful posts” on another platform. 

Another instance that has been suggested by Facebook is permitting its events to be shared with third-party calendar services that are based on cloud functionality. 

Facebook feels that employing techniques like these to improvise on Facebook data portability would give content generators a chance to promote their brand on other platforms. At the same time, event organizers too would be benefitted as they can check on Facebook events with the aid of calendar-based tools. 

However, so far, Facebook has not committed to any particular portability product launch or extension that it currently has in store. Presently, all Facebook users are allowed to send duplicates of their photos to Google’s photo storage service. It started in June this year. 

Regarding its photo transfer tool, Facebook went on to say that “We remain committed to ensuring the current product remains stable and performant for people and we are also exploring how we might extend this tool, mindful of the need to preserve the privacy of our users and the integrity of our services.”

When asked whether Facebook would allow the transfer of photos to any other platforms other than Google Photos, Facebook went on to say, “Supporting these additional use cases will mean finding more destinations to which people can transfer their data. In the short term, we’ll pursue these destination partnerships through bilateral agreements informed by user interest and expressions of interest from potential partners.”


Apart from permitting photo transfer to Google Photos, Facebook users can also download some details present on them. 

Regulators are much more interested in techniques that would ensure smooth and secure data transfer between various platforms. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has arranged for a public workshop on September 22, 2020, in which it plans to “examine the potential benefits and challenges to consumers and competition raised by data portability.” 

The regulator states that the subject of data portability has gained momentum after the adaptation of privacy laws like the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). These laws include data portability features. The FTC has requested for comment submissions by August 21. Due to this, Facebook’s paper is replying to the same.

Privacy and public policy manager, Bijal Madhani has stated that the organization wants “dedicated portability legislation” resulting from recommendations coming out of any workshop. 

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has requested the European Commission (EU) to restrict the kinds of data falling under portability rules. He has stated an example related to the Cambridge Analytica Facebook data abuse misconduct wherein he feels too much platform bluntness brings about its risks. Zuckerberg states that there should be a regulation that helps strike a balance between openness and privacy. In short, Facebook wants to decide which data should be allowed to reach its rivals and which one should not. 

Facebook has also made a point to the FTC that an independent body could list down a set of privacy and security standards so that there are no risks in data portability between platforms. 

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