We have some exciting news to share! An important piece of the Snikket roadmap has been selected for funding by NGI DAPSI, an EU-funded project focused on data portability and services.
The Data Portability and Services Incubator (DAPSI) is a EU funded project, under the European Commission’s Next Generation Internet (NGI) initiative. In their own words, DAPSI was established to:
[…] empower top internet innovators to develop human-centric solutions, addressing the challenge of personal data portability on the internet, as foreseen under the GDPR and make it significantly easier for citizens to have any data which is stored with one service provider transmitted directly to another provider.
You can learn more about the initiative on the NGI DAPSI website.
Over the years we have seen many XMPP providers come and go, and when a provider decides to shut down, it’s too often not easy for people to obtain their data and move it elsewhere. This contributes to user churn on the XMPP network - individuals are likely to leave XMPP rather than figure out the necessary steps to migrate to a new XMPP service.
There are other reasons for wanting to move your data, such as seeking providers with better privacy or reliability. You may also want to relocate from a provider to a self-hosted solution, or vice-versa.
As part of Snikket’s mission to improve all aspects of XMPP usability, clear data ownership and portability options have been an important goal since the project’s beginning.
In particular we believe:
The need for account and data portability goes beyond Snikket, we want to see improved portability and data interoperability across the whole XMPP ecosystem. DAPSI have funded an extensive project that over the next nine months will cover:
The standards will be submitted through the usual XMPP standards process and the implementations will be open-source.
XMPP already has some existing standards that overlap with this project, in particular XEP-0227 and XEP-0283. Both specifications are outdated and incomplete (XEP-0227 doesn’t support many modern features, and assumes your password will be exported in plain text!). We will update and/or complement these documents as needed.
The final stage of work will be to integrate the migration mechanism into Snikket. This will allow people to move their accounts between Snikket servers, including to or from our hosted service as well as other XMPP servers.
Our not-for-profit organization is committed to sustaining the Snikket project through ethical means and without the influence of private investment. We are very grateful for initiatives such as NGI, allowing projects like ours to fulfil our ambitious goals with open and transparent funding. Every project funded by them is helping to rebalance the internet.
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