An unofficial blog that watches Google's attempts to move your operating system online since 2005. Not affiliated with Google.

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November 12, 2006

Getting Control of Your Google-Stored Data

You use Google to search every day, you improve their search results, you store your mails on Google's servers and a lot of other data. What if one day you discover other company that provides better services and you want to move all your data? Google's CEO, Eric Schmidt, thinks that will be possible in the future: "We are working to ensure that as long as it is yours, we want to give you the equivalent of number portability. Data should never be held hostage. We might as well get ahead of it before a law gets passed forcing us to do that."

For the moment, there isn't an easy way to export your mails from Gmail to Yahoo Mail, for example or to export your posts and comments from Blogger to WordPress. Google usually promotes choices and making easy to switch to other competing services would be a logical step. If you think your services are the best and you respect your users, you shouldn't be afraid of the competition.


  1. GMAIL: Free POP access.
    BLOGGER: Atom/RSS feeds

    I do think we're doing a pretty good job of letting people grab their data to put elsewhere if they choose. If there are specific import/export options you're looking for, why not share those? :)

  2. Gmail

    Let's say I want to move to Yahoo Mail and I want to forward all my mails from Gmail to my new account. How do I do that?

    { I can't set a filter that forwards old mails. POP3 doesn't help. }


    Here's something from WordPress: "You can now import and export your entire blog and comments as an XML file that will generate for you. You'll find the export and import options now under Manage in your blog admin area."

    In Blogger Beta you can generate a feed with all your posts and a feed with all the comments. But it would be nice to have a simple option to backup a blog, a simple way to import / export (some) posts. Also how can you export all the photos uploaded to Blogger easily?

  3. Here's a message received from someone last week:

    "Last Wednesday we had, here in Italy, some big troubles connecting to Google services; we have been disconnected for two days. It was a problem with some routers of our Telecom Operator.

    Reading local blogs, people underline that we are too dependent on web 2.0 services we can loose for some reason; not only for network troubles, but even for web company troubles. At the end all the data that we put on web 2.0 service is our data that we lend to Google in exchange for advertisement and world indexing (and marketing research etc.)

    And this is telling me that we need a new feature in our Google Operating System: BACKUP.

    Let's call it SNAP (; a service that will present me with all the Google Services I'm subscribed to (personal web site, notes, gmail, pisasaweb, doc & spreadsheet, etc.), allowing me to choose the set of data I want to download to my PC for web backup purposes.

    I would like to be able to choose the data to download based at least on size and age, but a combination of a lot of other switches is for sure welcome."