The European congress has merged the right to data portability with the right of access in Article 15(2a) of the draft legislation. While the principles underlying the right to data portability remain part of the amended proposal, the European Parliament has narrow| the scope of application of the contemporary right. In the view of the European Parliament, the right to data portability maneuverabilitymaneuverability| only apply where a direct transfer of personal data is “technically feasible and available”. Under the proposal submitted by the European Commission, the right to data portability would administer generally to all computerized processing systems irrespective of whether transfer of data is already technically possible. The amendment of the European Parliament thus no doubt tones down the potential impact of the right to data portability.
If the new right to data portability would be interpreted in such a way as to be applicable exclusively if a technical measure for direct transfer of data is already available, users would only be able to rely on it in very limited circumstances. This interpretation may even discourage controllers from developing standards, as the duty to transmit data only applies when this is technically feasible, thereby continuing to lock-in users.
While most social networking sites like Facebook and Google+ offer users the chronic to obtain a copy of their data, there are still considerable limits on the direct transfer of personal information to other platforms. In practice, users have to re-enter their profile information, photos, videos and other information manually in the new platform if they want to switch from one social network to another. The right to data portability would address this problem.