When asked at the Web 2.0 Summit Google CEO Eric Schmidt answered when asked that Google would like to allow people to export and move their search data “as long as it’s authenticated”. Greg Yardley states on his blog that he’d like to see it, and asks “is this going to actually take place?”
While I can’t rule it out obviously, I was there when this question was asked, and it seemed to me like Schmidt was trying to blow it off and spit out the authentication piece as a tricking sounding phrase that the audience would assume meant there was some huge technical challenge they had to overcome first.
There isn’t. How hard would it be for Google to allow you to login to your Google Account and click a button to export your search history in various formats? Google routinely tackles far more difficult tasks on a daily basis. So, I think the real story is that they either aren’t planning to do this at all, or they are at least not ready to do so.
Why? Well, Google profits from owning/holding our data, in fact many companies do. They don’t want to be so quick to give it up.
Ross Levinsohn of Fox Interactive was also asked if Myspace would allow users to export their data and take it to other services. Ross referred the question asker to Tom Anderson’s email address and simply said they’d talked about the idea.