In a promising sign for the future of data portability across platforms, earlier today DataPortability.org Workgroup announced that representatives from Google, Facebook, and Plaxo joined their initative: "We are proud to announce the inclusion of Joseph Smarr (Plaxo), Brad Fitzpatrick (Google) and Benjamin Ling (Facebook) to the DataPortability Workgroup." For more on the group's goals, which includes creating a 'DataPortability Reference Design', see their philosophy and mission:
Our Philosophy: As users, our identity, photos, videos and other forms of personal data should be discoverable by, and shared between our chosen tools or vendors. We need a DHCP for Identity. A distributed File System for data. The technologies already exist, we simply need a complete reference design to put the pieces together.
Our Mission: To put all existing technologies and initiatives in context to create a reference design for end-to-end Data Portability. And, to promote that design to the developer, vendor and end-user community.
From a technology perspective, they encourage an "Invent Nothing" approach that builds on existing standards like: