A small team at Google Chicago is developing ways to make it easy and free for users of Google’s services to migrate their data out of Google products for use elsewhere.
The team shares a quote that explains the situation well:
Imagine you want to move out of your apartment. When you ask your landlord about the terms of your previous lease, he says that you are free to leave at any time; however, you cannot take all of your things with you – not your photos, your keepsakes, or your clothing. If you’re like most people, a restriction like this may cause you to rethink moving altogether. Not only is this a bad situation for you as the tenant, but it’s also detrimental to the housing industry as a whole, which no longer has incentive to build better apartments at all.
Often times, data migration can be time-consuming and costly. The Google Liberation Front’s efforts are a commendable step forward in keeping the almost universally popular Google services open and secure.
At the moment, over half of Google products have been liberated, including Blogger and Gmail. The team will be working on data portability for the rest of their tools including Google Sites and Google Docs.