Facebook Connect officially launched on Thursday and gives its members access to third-party sites using their Facebook login/password. This feature is available to all FB’s members on (so far) 24 partner sites including: Digg, Twitter, Citysearch, CBS, CollegeHumor, Hulu and others. In addition to instant access, Facebook Connect promises data portability: taking your friends, profile pics and privacy settings with you as you transverse the web. Facebook Connect will give us a well needed rest from profile-fatigue, but at what cost?
The data portability debate has been going on for some time now. The DataPortability Project has been promoting open source standards for data portability since 2007. They encourage use of the well known OpenID authentication protocol which has already been adopted around the web by Google’s Blogger, AOL, Yahoo, etc – as well as having been incorporated into open source platforms like Drupal and WordPress.