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Facebook launches tool to help users save their content and quit platform

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Facebook has launched a tool allowing users to transfer their photos and videos to another service, which could make it easier for people to quit the platform.

Facebook will now let you directly transfer media to Google Photos, an image hosting service that does not have the same social elements as Facebook.

The move is part of Facebook’s bid to improve “data portability” as it combats concerns over the way it handles user data.

“At Facebook, we believe that if you share data with one service, you should be able to move it to another,” explained Facebook’s Steve Satterfield, who runs the firm’s Privacy and Public Policy team. That’s the principle of data portability, which gives people control and choice while also encouraging innovation.”

“We’ve kept privacy and security as top priorities, so all data transferred will be encrypted and people will be asked to enter their password before a transfer is initiated.”

Users can access the option by clicking on settings and navigating to 'Your Facebook Information', then 'Transfer a copy of your photos or videos'.

Users can then select Google Photos from a drop-down menu. While Photos is currently the only option, the implication is that Facebook may be leaving space to add other migration services in the future.

Data portability is one of the rights for citizens included in the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), introduced in the EU in 2018 as part of new user digital privacy and data laws.

Facebook said the transfer tool was developed through its work as part of an open-source, collaborative scheme known as the Data Transfer Project.

The group - which also includes Apple, Google, Microsoft and Twitter - was created with the aim of developing assistive tools which would allow users to more easily move their data between different platforms.

 

Last week, Facebook said it was taking steps to clamp down on coronavirus disinformation being spread through its platform.

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