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A Deep Dive Into Data Portability: How Can We Enable Platform Competition and Protect Privacy at the Same Time?

In the wake of the recent privacy controversy over Facebook and Cambridge Analytica, internet users and policymakers have had a lot of questions on the topic of “data portability.” Is my social network data really mine? Can I take it with me to another platform if I’m unhappy with my current service? What does the new European privacy law demand in terms of my being able to export my data, and are internet companies satisfying those requirements? What counts as my data that I should be able to download or share, and what counts as my friends’ data that I shouldn’t? And what the heck is an API, anyway?

There is a growing consensus that being able to easily move your data between social platforms, and perhaps even being able to communicate between different platforms, is necessary to promote competition online and enable new services to emerge. But that raises some difficult technical and policy questions about how to balance such portability and interoperability with your and your friends’ privacy interests, and how to guarantee that new privacy efforts don’t have the unintended consequence of locking in current platforms’ dominance by locking down their control over your data. How can we ensure a healthy internet ecosystem that protects both privacy and competition? 

Join New America’s Open Technology Institute, in collaboration with Mozilla, as a range of experts from the tech industry and the policy world debate these tough questions. A casual reception with refreshments will follow. 

Follow the conversation online using #MovingData and following @OTI.

Keynote Address and Introduction – 4-4:30 p.m.: 


Keynote Speaker: 

Rep. David N. Cicilline (D-R.I.)@DavidCicilline 
Ranking Member, House Judiciary Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law 

Introduction: 

Ross Schulman@RossSchulman 
Senior Counsel and Policy Technologist, New America’s Open Technology Institute 

Panel Discussion – 4:30-5:45 p.m.:


Panelists: 

Brian “Fitz” Fitzpatrick@TheRealFitz 
Founder and CTO, Tock, Inc 
Previously led Google’s “Data Liberation Front” data portability initiative 

Terrell McSweeny@TerrellMcSweeny 
Former FTC Commissioner, 2014-2018 

Neha Narula@Neha 
Director of Digital Currency, MIT Media Lab 

Chris Riley@MChrisRiley 
Policy Director, Mozilla Corp. 

Steve Satterfield@SteveSatter 
Privacy and Public Policy Director, Facebook 

Moderator: 

Kevin Bankston@KevinBankston 
Director, New America’s Open Technology Institute

Reception – 5:45-6:30 p.m.