C_TEC sends comments to the White House on Data Portability

Tuesday, November 22, 2016 - 12:00pm

Comments to the White House on Data Portability

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce (the “Chamber”), the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than three million businesses of all sizes, sectors and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations, is dedicated to promoting, protecting and defending America’s free enterprise system.  The Chamber appreciates the opportunity to submit comments to the White House on data portability.

Data has become an essential resource to most businesses. Data drives business innovation and creation, and there are a growing number of companies that would simply not exist without data science. Today, data is also a highly valued commodity for consumers’ which is why having the ability to move data freely is so important.

The benefits of user-centric data portability are clear and impactful for consumers. It allows for customers to navigate between platforms with lower associated costs and makes backing up data easier. Overall, portability is a catalyst for greater maneuverability and gives greater control to users. Data protection is a major concern for consumers and portability permits backing data up locally or in another service.

With that said, portability should be incentivized but not mandated. Companies will organically adapt to this practice without the government forcing their hand. Doing so would be a mistake and an example of government overstepping the boundaries of interfering with the decisions of private businesses.

The White House’s focus in this space should be solely on the improving users’ awareness of data issues, promoting open, consistent standards, and encouraging interoperability. Consumer education about the benefits of these features should be a priority because it will lead to companies adapting to these best practices. The Chamber applauds the Obama Administration’s efforts to continue exploring the many facets of data and promoting an environment that will provide consumers with the best possible user experience.