Data Transfer Initiative Launch

Data portability fosters innovation and empowers individuals to choose

Throughout my career - from the U.S. Department of State’s internet freedom portfolio to my time as Director of Public Policy at Mozilla - I have worked to advance these values. In this email, I’m excited to share that I am continuing this work as the inaugural Executive Director of the Data Transfer Initiative, a new phase of the Data Transfer Project.

Since its founding in 2018, I’ve watched DTP with interest and enthusiasm. DTP brought technology companies together to enable simple, fast, and secure data transfers directly between services, rather than through the more laborious process of downloading and reuploading data. Over the last 5 years, DTP has made it easier to build, deploy, and scale portability tools through its open source technology framework, which today 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.

The progress of the past five years is only the beginning. I’m pleased to announce the creation of the Data Transfer Initiative (DTI), a new non-profit organization that will house DTP and support the work that DTP started, with DTP remaining an open source project as part of DTI. DTI’s mission is to empower users by enabling them to transfer their data from one service to another, in line with the principles established at the creation of the Data Transfer Project. We will realize this mission through dedicated engineering and product contributions for the design and implementation of open source data transfer tools, and serving as an important resource to policymakers around the world.

At the same time, we are announcing the release of the Data Transfer Project 1.0 open source code base. Over the past few years, DTP’s contributors have introduced new data types and made substantial improvements to the functionality and reliability of DTP’s libraries and adapters. The result is a sufficiently stable code base to power direct transfer features available to billions of internet users today.

I am honored to have been chosen by the Board of Directors to lead DTI to fulfill its timely and critical mission. I am thankful for the support of DTI’s founding partners - Apple, Meta, and Google - and I am excited to work with the entire community of contributors to these efforts.

The scope of data portability is as broad and diverse as user data itself. I welcome you to join us. Please check out our website at DTinit.org or contact me, personally, at mchris@DTinit.org to learn more.



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