In a blog, Facebook described the move as one geared toward enhancing data portability.
Privacy and security are key considerations, the social media giant notes, so the data transfer process will involve encryption, and users are asked for a password before a transfer can take place. To foster that trust, people and online services need clear rules about what kinds of data should be portable and who is responsible for protecting that data as it moves to different services.
We are strong proponents of personal data portability and would love to see enhanced control over personal data online: your data is your commodity, and you should be in control of it. Facebook did clarify that right now the tool is launching first in Ireland-where its global headquarters are located-and will roll out worldwide in the first half of 2020.
Facebook said in September it supports data portability and is planning to build new tools around it.
Lawmakers in the U.S. are pushing a bill that will improve online data portability.
'We are now testing this tool, so we will continue refining it based on feedback from people using it as well as from our conversations with stakeholders'.
'That new importer can also be contributed back to the open source project, thereby allowing other companies to export to that new service, as well, with no additional technical work'.
The wider Data Transfer Project consists of three main parts - a set of shared data to represent each content type, a system to handle authentication and a task manager to ensure everything is put together properly.
For those of us not living in Ireland - i.e. most of us - the service is expected to launch worldwide by mid-2020.