What is Google Data Liberation?

Google's Data Liberation project aims at empowering its users. Users can remove the data uploaded by them on various services of Google.
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Many big Internet companies have turned a deaf ear on cries of privacy from users. The business models of these companies are based on tracking, keeping and analyzing user data. Not many of these companies have any clear policy about how a user can remove all his/her data if one choose to.

Google had caused a scare a couple of years ago when it changed its privacy policy to include a clause that meant that Google owns the content uploaded by users. Within a few days of this fiasco, Google backtracked and remove the offending clause.

Perhaps, Google learnt its lesson and, it appears, for repenting its mistake, the company has setup a dedicated team called the “Data Liberation Front”. The sole task of this team is to develop ways so as to enable the user to remove data from any of Google’s product. The team’s mission statement is:

Users should be able to control the data they store in any of Google’s products. Our team’s goal is to make it easier to move data in and out.

In June 2011, the team delivered its first product named Google Takeout platform. From this page you get links to various Google services’ takeout pages. You can remove the desired data from any of the listed services.

Website of the project encourages users to ask themselves three questions before they choose to upload their data on an Internet service:

  1. Can I get my data out in an open, interoperable, portable format?
  2. How much is it going to cost to get my data out?
  3. How much of my time is it going to take to get my data out?

The data liberation team also suggests ideal answers to these questions:

  1. Yes.
  2. Nothing more than I’m already paying.
  3. As little as possible.

The website of Data Liberation Front is here

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