Last summer, a host of Silicon Valley tech giants — including Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter — launched the Data Transfer Project, an open source tool that makes it easier for users’ info to move from one service to another. Now Apple joined the project this week, ensuring that this conglomeration is the largest of its kind ever created. However, with so much user data being pooled and shared, many of the privacy concerns that were first expressed last year have been brought back to the forefront.
When the company was pressed last year on the privacy ramifications of its project, it said that, because of its use of an API, it can maintain strict control of our data.
We always want to think about user data protection first,” Facebook product manager David Baser said after the project was first announced. “One of the things that’s nice about an API is that, as the data provider, we have the ability to turn off the pipeline or impose conditions on how they can use it. With a data download tool, the data leaves our hands, and it’s truly out there in the wild. If someone wants to use that data for bad purposes, Facebook truly cannot do anything about it.”
While that may be true, it’s hard to trust a company that has so recently found itself embroiled in multiple privacy scandals. Even if Facebook is doing everything it can to protect our data, that may not be enough in the eyes of a suspicious public.
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