Facebook users in Ireland will be the first in the world to trial a new service that will enable them to transfer their data from the social network to another online platform.

From today, users here will be able to move Facebook photos and videos directly to Google Photos, with other users around the world set to get access in the first half of next year.

It is part of a drive by Facebook to increase data portability in order to give users better control over their own information.

"At Facebook, we believe that if you share data with one service, you should be able to move it to another," said Steve Satterfield, Director of Privacy and Public Policy at Facebook.
 
"That's the principle of data portability, which gives people control and choice while also encouraging innovation."
 
The photo transfer tool can be accessed in the Your Facebook Information section of the app's settings.
 
All data transferred will be encrypted and people will be asked to enter their password before a transfer begins.

It has been developed as part of the Data Transfer Project  an open-source, service-to-service data portability platform designed to enable all individuals across the web to easily move their data between online service providers whenever they want.
 
"We want to build practical portability solutions people can trust and use effectively," said Mr Sattterfield.
 
"To foster that trust, people and online services need clear rules about what kinds of data should be portable and who is responsible for protecting that data as it moves to different services."
 
The move follows the publication in September of a white paper by Facebook that looked at the issues of privacy and data portability.
 
The company has also since gathered the views of interested parties around the world on the topic.
 
"We've learned from our conversations with policymakers, regulators, academics, advocates and others that real-world use cases and tools will help drive policy discussions forward," Mr Satterfield said.

"That's why we're developing new products that take into account the feedback we've received and will help drive data portability policies forward by giving people and experts a tool to assess."