My adult life coincides with the first PCs, and since I have data and documents dating back to the early 1980s, keeping
that data in a readable format is important. Companies and software that enable open standards and open formats are my friends; those that promote proprietary formats only cost me time, money, and serious aggravation.
Thus the news that Google allows one to take their data with them
when they leave Google, or who no longer want to use Google Services (software), is well worth noting. They call the project the Data Liberation Front
, which uses open standards for data export, such as OPML for Google Reader and KML for Maps data, and isn't pushing for any new data formats. Google board member Eric Schmidt said that the site will include instructions for safely deleting your data from Google's server soon.
Wherever your lifestyle leaves data about (phone, computer, camera, social sites, etc.), make sure you can take it with you when you go.