back to article Google lets users slurp own Gmail, Calendar data

Google just made two of its mainstay cloud services a little less cloudy by giving users the opportunity to export data from the company's infrastructure. The company announced data export features for Gmail and Google Calendar on Thursday as part of its "Google Takeout" service. Gmail data will become available for download …

COMMENTS

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  1. DelM

    I didn't think the calendar bit was much news. You could import and export calendar data in ICAL and (I think) CSV form before. GMail slurpage is a win for backup I guess.

    1. frank ly

      I'll make a GMail content and calendar data backup on my Google Drive. It's all so convenient and integrated.

  2. Sir Sham Cad

    export my search history

    No! Hell no. Especially the searches from my laptop late at night. No. Not on yours or anyone else's nelly!

    They're welcome to keep that and use it to sell me Justin Bieber MP3s just don't let me remember it!

  3. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. JackClark

      Re: What?

      It is stored in iCalendar. The file formats were not in the press release, but on the detailed FAQ page. https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/3024195?hl=en#calendar

  4. phil dude
    Thumb Up

    nice feature...

    By default I forward all my email to thunderbird etc... and have it make everything offline. But actually having a .tgz would be a very convenient feature. Even nicer if they used tar time based format! You know, daily/weekly etc...

    P.

  5. petef

    Since the start of Google Mail I have used its POP access from my email client to download local copies of messages.

  6. Ben Liddicott

    They only do it because they legally have to.

    The "Data Liberation Front" stuff is just posturing - "Look we let you export your data because we are so open and friendly and definitely not evil. (And also we don't want a multi-billion pound fine)".

    They have to allow users to obtain data about themselves under Data Protection Act for a maximum fee of £10.

    Technically not all of it would be required because not all of it is "about" the user. But working out which bits are exempt would be a manual job which there is no way they want to do, and in any case cannot be done for £10. (The fact that you sent an email is information about you. The contents may or may not be about you. But to determine that someone would have to read it. Easier just to say "it is your data, download it if you want").

    So in fact they have a legal obligation to allow export of a subset, which subset could only be determined at great cost. Therefore, in practice, they have no option whatsoever but to provide an "export everything" function.

    So with a billion users, what else can they do but form a team and say "provide a self-managed export-everything function".

    And also because, morally, it is the user's property. An increasingly rare example of law doing its proper job of being the enforceable legal embodiment of a moral right.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: They only do it because they legally have to.

      Nice rant. Now try to download your data from facebook, or your email from hotmail, and tell us how to do it.

      1. Ben Liddicott

        Re: They only do it because they legally have to.

        Write a letter to their service address, including a cheque for £10. Await a CD in the post.

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: They only do it because they legally have to.

          Write a letter to their service address, including a cheque for £10. Await a CD in the post.

          And if the CD doesn't arrive? Or doesn't have all the data you expect on it? Have you tried this?

          Yes, it's posturing to a large degree but it is also commendable that Google is acting before any kind of court order is served.

          1. Ben Liddicott

            Re: They only do it because they legally have to.

            It's commendable that Google are obeying the law without actually having an injunction against them?

            That's a pretty low bar for "commendable".

      2. Lil Pete

        Re: They only do it because they legally have to.

        Downloading your data from Facebook is reasonably simple and painless.

  7. T. F. M. Reader Silver badge
    Coat

    Now how about...

    letting users delete their search history in batches? I'll have my cron ready in no time...

    Coat, please...

  8. Jordan Davenport

    What about IMAP?

    I've used IMAP to upload emails I had downloaded from one service to another service through Thunderbird and other mail clients before. How is this new, exactly - that you don't have to rely on an email client to download the data now?

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