Google and Facebook are joining ranks on DataPortability Workgroup. As the ReadWriteWeb put it, "Good bye customer lock-in, hello to new privacy challenges." While the process of opening up data , it's instructive that the web is doing what the offline software industry has thought tantamount to corporate suicide: Opening up.
Data has been the web's lock-in point, as Tim O'Reilly, in particular, has championed. Some believe this is the only way to make a buck: Remove customer options such that they're forced to continue doing business with a vendor.
I'm hopeful that Google, which has offered public support for open data policies before, will follow through on this. We don't need more of the same old way of doing business.