What is data portability?
Data portability is the ability of people to share data about themselves held by organisations with third parties, including other organisations, services or people.
In short, data portability is about making it easier to transfer personal information from one service to another.
There have been initiatives in the past that have tried to make data portability a reality, such as the midata partnership, but the arrival of the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in 2018 changes things: or the first time, people will have the right to data portability.
However, the practicalities of data portability become more challenging to understand in circumstances when the data being transferred describes more than one person, and when it is considered in combination with other GDPR rights.
GDPR states that the right to portability ‘shall not adversely affect the rights and freedoms of others’. This raises questions: Who needs to agree before data can be ported? How does it compete with another person’s right to erasure? Or to restrict processing?