OP-ED: Portable Social Media Aren’t Like Portable Phone Numbers

Tech Policy Press – ICLE Director of Law & Economics Programs Gus Hurwitz had a piece published in Tech Policy Press about problems inherent in proposals to demand that online platforms make user data portable, and particularly with analogies to phone number portability. You can read the full piece here.

But rather than demonstrating that data portability and interoperability mandates would be easy to implement, analogies to the Telecom Act’s number portability requirement highlight how difficult they can be. As law professor Peter Swire of Georgia Tech University explained in a recent study of data portability mandates, regulators who rely on phone number portability as a model “may have an unrealistically positive view about how easy and beneficial” these regulations are.