Face­book loosens grip on data

Tests tool to move pics to Google, other ri­vals

Boston Herald - - Bizsmart -

LON­DON — Face­book started test­ing a tool on Mon­day that lets users move their im­ages more eas­ily to other on­line ser­vices, as it faces pres­sure from reg­u­la­tors to loosen its grip on data.

The so­cial net­work’s new tool will al­low peo­ple to trans­fer their pho­tos and videos di­rectly to com­pet­ing plat­forms, start­ing with Google Pho­tos.

The com­pany said it will first be avail­able to peo­ple in Ire­land and will be re­fined based on user feed­back.

The tool will then be rolled out world­wide in the first half of 2020.

U.S. and Euro­pean reg­u­la­tors have been ex­am­in­ing Face­book’s con­trol of per­sonal data such as im­ages as they look into whether the tech gi­ant’s dom­i­nance is sti­fling com­pe­ti­tion and lim­it­ing choice for con­sumers. Face­book CEO Mark Zucker­berg has re­acted by call­ing for new rules to ad­dress “data porta­bil­ity” and other is­sues.

Face­book said that as it worked on a new set of data porta­bil­ity tools, it had dis­cus­sions with pol­i­cy­mak­ers, reg­u­la­tors, and aca­demics in the U.K., Ger­many, Brazil and Sin­ga­pore to learn about which data should be por­ta­ble and how to pro­tect pri­vacy.

The com­pany is de­vel­op­ing prod­ucts that “take into ac­count the feed­back we’ve re­ceived and will help drive data porta­bil­ity poli­cies for­ward by giv­ing peo­ple and ex­perts a tool to as­sess,” Steve Sat­ter­field, di­rec­tor of pri­vacy and public pol­icy, said in a blog post.

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