Google's Data Portability Breakthrough Pleasing Italian Authority

  • Jane Williams
  • Aug 01, 2023
  • 330
Google's Data Portability Breakthrough Pleasing Italian Authority

It's official - Italy’s competition authority, AGCM, has put a lasting rest to the probe it launched against tech behemoth Google. The Italian watchdog’s concerns regarding Google's data portability procedures, an issue brought to the fore by local company Hoda, have been largely assuaged by Google's newly introduced user-friendly initiatives. The settlement announced recently, comes as a sigh of relief to users seeking an uncomplicated way of porting their data.

Behind the saga was Hoda, owner of Weople, a direct marketing platform that encourages users to deposit their data in virtual areas. Here, the data is encrypted and tokenized, converting personal data into an anonymized and aggregated format. Hoda's commercial engagement is thus embedded in smooth data portability, which signifies why it initially flagged Google’s intricate Takeout data portability offer as daunting for users.

Subsequently, this led to Hoda lodging a formal complaint against Google, citing that it was thwarting interoperability. The Italian authority, having received Google's three assurances, concluded that it addressed competition concerns. While maintaining that Google had not contravened competition law, it lauded Google's commitment to improving the user data portability experience.

In details revealed about Google's new promises, the first two strive to improve the Takeout process, and the third links to a novel direct data portability feature that Google vows to offer third-party operators. Google will launch the service-to-service direct portability API, an eagerly anticipated user-friendly system, in the first quarter of 2024. It has further sworn to provide early adversarial access to this feature for third-party testing.

In all, this looks like a major win for users and third-party operators, especially when considering the authority's view that users will greatly benefit from better data portability in the future. As Google's API is launched next year, automated data portability could be the user-friendly data management breakthrough that the world has been waiting for.

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