Facebook’s photo transfer tool, which lets users transfer all of their photos on the social media platform to any alternate storage source at a single click, is finally expanding further into Europe. The tool, launched in Ireland last December, is additionally further expanding into Latin America and Africa
The tech giant had initially said that the tool will be available worldwide in the first half of this year. As of now, the tool is being made accessible to U.K, the rest of European Union and additional countries in Latin America and Africa. The setting to “transfer a copy of your photos and videos” can be found on the Your Facebook Information settings menu.
Many are billing it as a rare win for all the regulatory pressure that has been put on Facebook. The core idea for the tool is data portability, which is now deemed as a central right for citizens included in strict new European data privacy laws, the so-called General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), introduced two years ago.
The transfer tool is based on a code developed via the tech giant’s participation in the Data Transfer Project. The project was a collaborative effort that begun in 2018 supported by Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter. The companies worked towards building a common framework using open source code to facilitate the connection between two online service providers and in order to support “seamless, direct, user initiated portability of data between two platforms”.
According to a spokesperson, the aim of DTP is to develop a standardised version of a portability tool. Currently, the setting facilitates transfer only to Google Photos but the service waits to be joined by other companies and also plans to facilitate transfer of more data types. Special emphasis has been made on working with start-ups and new platforms that are looking to provide an on-ramp for transfer services.
The tool however may come as a mixed bag for Facebook. The recent years have witnessed a dominance of tech giants which has led to competition complaints. This has attracted much scrutiny from regulators and policy makers with regards to the data practices used by these entities. The tool gives regulators something to point at even if the tool allows the porting of a very small portion of personal data.