DTI: A New Era for DTP

The Data Transfer Initiative is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the mission of empowering technology users by enabling them to transfer their data from one service to another. DTI builds on and extends the past years of work on the Data Transfer Project (DTP). Three of DTP’s contributors — Apple, Meta, and Google — came together to support the creation of DTI to continue and expand the work of bringing data portability to all.

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In the Beginning: The Data Transfer Project

The Data Transfer Project was created in 2018 as an industry collaboration with a mission of enabling users to complete simple, fast, and secure data transfers directly between services. Since its creation, the project has built an open source technology framework that powers direct data transfer features within Google Takeout, Facebook’s Transfer your Information, and Apple’s Data and Privacy page, as well as software libraries that connect to over a dozen additional services.

DTP makes it easier for people to switch services, or try new and innovative products, by improving the ease and speed of data portability. Without DTP, transferring a copy of data from one service to another can be a time consuming process, requiring a user to download a copy of their data to a local device and re-upload it to a new service. This can be particularly challenging for mobile-only users, those with limited bandwidth, and in markets where people pay-as-they-go for data usage. The data portability tools built on the Data Transfer Project framework remove the need for local device storage and transfer–enabling users to move their data directly between services. The project makes this easier for companies as well by providing standard data formats and necessary adapters.

Learn More about the Data Transfer Project (video)

About the Data Transfer Initiative

The Data Transfer Initiative invests dedicated engineering and product resources to the design and implementation of data transfer tools. These contributions will continue to be maintained in an open source GitHub repository to encourage broader adoption of and contributions to the code base. DTI will also offer its expertise with user-driven data transfers as an important resource to policymakers. Data portability continues to be a key element of policy discussions around the world, and DTI will seek to help translate principle to practice, catalyzing greater user agency and empowerment.

"Data portability is becoming a requirement globally to give consumers greater control over their own data, and choice about shifting to different services. At the same time, if portability is badly implemented, consumers face significant privacy and security risks. The Data Transfer Project has become the global leader for making data portability a reality for users, and the new Data Transfer Initiative will provide the thought leadership needed to consider the multiple relevant policy goals."
Peter Swire, J.Z. Liang Chair, College of Computing, Georgia Institute of Technology


DTI’s unique blend of product and policy engagement requires unique leadership. To take on this challenge, the Board of Directors has selected Chris Riley as the organization’s Executive Director. Chris comes from the R Street Institute, a Washington, DC-based think tank, prior to which he led the Mozilla Corporation’s global public policy efforts for several years. His open source roots go back even further to his time working on the internet freedom portfolio at the U.S. Department of State, where he supported open source security and anti-censorship tools dedicated to advancing human rights online. Chris received his B.S. in computer science from Wheeling Jesuit University, his Ph.D. in computer science from Johns Hopkins University and his J.D. from Yale Law School.

“Data portability fosters innovation and empowers individual choice. Throughout my career, I have sought to advance these values of user and technology freedom at every turn. Building open user data tools through the Data Transfer Initiative is an incredibly timely and impactful opportunity for me to continue this important work. I’m excited for what we can all accomplish together, and I am honored to help grow this community to lead these critical efforts.”
Chris Riley, Executive Director, Data Transfer Initiative

Join us

The scope of data portability is as broad and diverse as user data itself. We welcome you to join us in our efforts. To follow along with DTI’s work going forward, please sign up below.

Keep up with the Data Transfer Initiative

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