Celebrate the Fourth of July with Google's data declaration of independence [video]
Well, hell, maybe Google is serious about all this open stuff, after all. As part of the massive Google sites makeover now underway -- of which the + social service and gmail clutter cleanup are part -- there is a new utility for sucking all your precious data out of the search and information giant's services. Hey, it's your data. Shouldn't you be able to take it anywhere?
The Data Liberation Front video above introduces this new thing -- Google Takeout. It's more than a utility. Google Takeout is a movement. I mean that. This whole data portability thing clearly stems from Google's so-called "Open Principles". There is a Data Liberation Front website, blog and Twitter feed.
Google Takeout can be used to liberate data from 28 of the company's services, including AdWords, Analytics, Blogger, Gmail, Maps, Picasa Web Albums and Voice.
Takeout is built into Google+, but it can be used separately.
"The Data Liberation Front is an engineering team at Google whose singular goal is to make it easier for users to move their data in and out of Google products" according to the group's website. "We do this because we believe that you should be able to export any data that you create in (or import into) a product".
But it's the video that has punch: "We believe that if we make it easy for you to leave Google, we have to work just that much harder that you don't want to". That's a helluva statement, given how often tech companies have used data lock-in to keep businesses or consumers buying. Of course, Google does give away most of its products or services, so isn't much for locked-in customers to buy.
Google is declaring your data independence. Order up some Google Takeout and report back in comments. Does Google really deliver your data? I'll be testing it, too.