Google is spending millions to help you move your data away from Azure and AWS

Magnifying Glass Data
(Image credit: Alexskopje / Shutterstock)

Google has announced its plans to pledge $3m over the next five years as well as hundreds of hours of its engineers' time to make it easier to move data away from its services as well as those of other companies.

Data portability has always been very important for the search giant and over a decade ago in 2007, it created a team of engineers dedicated to providing its users with an easy way to export a copy of their data from its products. 

In the years since, Google has expanded its data portability offering with the launch of Google Takeout which makes it possible to download data from over 70 of its products. The company's teams have continued to work on building new technologies to help make this process simpler while also keeping personal data safe and secure as it is transferred between different platforms.

According to a new blog post, Google sees an average of 8.2m exports per month with Google Takeout and last year, more than 400bn files were exported which is double the amount exported in 2019.

Commitment to data portability

Back in 2018, Google teamed up with other tech giants including Google, Apple, Meta, Microsoft and Twitter as well as SmugMug to launch the open source Data Transfer Project (DTP) to simplify data portability for people around the world.

DTP differs from traditional methods of moving files from one service to another as it doesn't require a reliable broadband connection or that users download their data to a portable SSD or external hard drive first. Instead, they can simply authorize a copy of the data to safely move to a new service. At the same time, since DTP is open source software, any company or organization can use its code as opposed to having to build custom data portability solutions.

Google now plans to spend $3m over the next five years and put its employees to work on improving DTP's open source libraries to facilitate even more types of data transfer as well as to allow more businesses to participate in the project.

The company also laid out three key principles it believes data portability rules should follow: put people first, require exportability and prioritize privacy and security. In fact, these are the same principles Google relied on when it first built Google Takeout and launched DTP.

Anthony Spadafora

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.