Facebook allows users to transfer photos and videos to two other platforms

The social media giant partnered with Dropbox and Koofr, after doing the same with Google Photos in April

REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration
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  • Facebook is trying to allay concerns over data portability, which is gaining a set of new rules around the globe, including in Brazil;
  • Data portability gives users more control over their data and allows the social media company to respond to regulators.

Facebook said its users can transfer photos and videos stored on its servers to two new tech platforms – its latest move to address antitrust concerns by giving users an option to easily leave the company’s services.

The social media company’s new partners are cloud storage firms Dropbox and Koofr – a European Union-based startup. Facebook announced a similar partnership with Alphabet-owned Google Photos in April.

READ ALSO: Facebook plans news service launch in Brazil in the coming months

The feature that allows such transfers is called data portability. It gives users more control over their data and allows the social media company to respond to regulators and lawmakers who are investigating its competitive practices and allegations it has stifled competition.

Data portability is a requirement under a slate of new privacy laws that have been passing around the world. The most notorious of them is Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), but Brazil is also set to impose similar regulations under its General Law on Protection of Personal Data (LGPD, its acronym in Portuguese), which is about to come into effect.

READ ALSO: Fake news crackdown in Brazil opens a dangerous precedent for censorship

Facebook’s move comes ahead of a hearing set up by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on September 22 to examine the potential benefits and challenges of data portability. Control of data that hurts competition has become a critical topic in the antitrust debate.

Earlier this month, Facebook sent comments to the FTC in which it pushed for data portability legislation.

READ ALSO: What is the proposed fake news regulation in Brazil and how does it affect social media in the country?

Smaller technology companies will be more willing to partner with Facebook once regulations around data portability become more clear, Bijan Madhani, privacy and public policy manager at Facebook told Reuters.

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