Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Twitter Unite to Make More Portable Data

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The tech companies are joining forces to allow users to download and transfer data more easily.

Typically, the major tech companies compete against each other for clicks and cash. But now, four of the biggest players in the tech industry, Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Twitter have joined forces for a new project.

It's an open-source Data Transfer Project, also known as DTP, that is designed to make it easier for users to download and transfer data between services.

The four companies formally announced the project on Friday, and also published a white paper to explain the initiative in greater detail.

Damien Kieran, Twitter's Data Protection Officer explained it in a blog post as, "An open source initiative aiming to empower any company to create tools that enable people to freely move their information across the web - without barriers."

The timing of the formal announcement is likely tied to the passing of the massive European Union law, General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR, Engadget reports. This data initiative is for all users, however, not just those that are EU citizens.

Despite the big announcement, the project is still currently in development and not yet available to the general public. It might also grow in size. The four companies eventually hope to recruit more organizations to be a part of the initiative.

"This will take time but we are very excited to work with innovators and passionate people from other companies to ensure we are putting you first," Kieran said. "Fundamentally this is about pushing towards a more open and dynamic internet."