Some of techs biggest companies and notable rivals have announced a collaborative project to help progress data transfer. Microsoft, Google, Facebook and Twitter have teamed on the Data Transfer Project (DTP). The goal behind the alliance is to help consumers and businesses move data between online services more efficiently.

These four companies are bitter rivals in some respects, but when tech giants partner the results are often worth it. With that in mind, DTP is certainly an intriguing project. The official webpage for the project reveals DTP is still “in very active development”.

Still, the quartet are opening the project and have published the standards for DTP through a white paper. Simply put, the project allows users to transfer data easily from one participating provider to another.

Content like photos, tasks, mail, contacts and more can be transferred, which is ideal for trying out a new service:

“Data Transfer Project (DTP) extends data portability beyond downloading a copy of your data from your service provider, to providing consumers the ability to directly transfer data in and out of any participating provider. Data Transfer Project is an open source initiative to encourage participation of as many Providers as possible. DTP will enhance the data portability ecosystem by reducing the infrastructure burden on both service providers and users which should in turn increase the number of services offering portability. The protocols and methodology of DTP enable direct, service-to-service data transfer with streamlined engineering work.”

Future

DTP is a completely open source project that is available on GitHub. The companies currently involved want more providers to come on board and make DTP a standard across services. It is arguable the project will give users more control over their data, although it would also open them to cross-service data sharing from companies.