Data export, or die

Data export, or die

@11/15/2020 ¤ Journal

This talk from Simon Willison is wonderful, and I daresay it may become required viewing for anyone in tech:

I've been backing up my data on various social networks in mostly terrible ways, but this is a new take on it that focuses on keeping costs down and personal privacy. My personal hacks have included:

  1. Backing up memory cards of photos to S3 buckets w/ Glacier
  2. Pushing archives to GitHub from Twitter, etc
  3. Continuing to pay Apple to keep years of photos around (which does have the nice side effect of iOS Memories)
  4. Hoping Google never locks me out of my Gmail, or else my online life is effectively over

datasette and dogsheep might be the next logical step for my personal data warehousing. Allowing people (and not just power users/techies) to own their data should be the default for all online services. To take a page from Benjamin Franklin...

"Data warehousing for all" could be summed up easier as:

Data export, or die.

Wouldn't it be nice if this was enforceable somehow? In the meantime, software that helps others own their own data will continue to flourish. Sites that won't allow exports to happen should be punished in some way - at the very least with less customers because of their policies to keep their own users' information away from them.