Google is launching a new initiative called Data Liberation, an approach to engineering that allows users to move their data — such as pictures, mail, or documents — from Google’s servers to any other location easily, ZDNet reports. In a Sept. 14 blog post, Data Liberation engineering manager Brian Fitzpatrick uses a good analogy to explain why the company sees this is an important step: "Imagine you want to move out of your apartment. When you ask your landlord about the terms of your previous lease, he says that you are free to leave at any time; however, you cannot take all of your things with you–not your photos, your keepsakes, or your clothing. If you’re like most people, a restriction like this may cause you to rethink moving altogether. Not only is this a bad situation for you as the tenant, but it’s also detrimental to the housing industry as a whole." Facebook recently took a PR hit when the company changed its terms to claim "ownership" of user data; since then, the idea of users keeping data behind a locked internet door they don’t hold the keys to has become a buzz point. Google already has liberated about half of its products–from Blogger to Gmail–and has plans to liberate Google Sites and Google Docs, with batch exports, in the coming months…

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