Google users can now export any contacts, voicemails or data they have stored in their Google Voice accounts as part of a broader data exporting scheme the company calls "Google Takeout."
Google Takeout gives users control over their data, such as emails, personal information or profiles stored on Google, and enables them to download the information to their own personal computer for personal records or in the case they decide to stop using the service.
The addition of Google Voice to Google Takeout "means that all of the data associated with your Google Voice account, from your call history to voicemail messages, greetings and call recordings, is now available for download," wrote Google software engineer Anthony Jawad in a September 6 blog post. Voicemail messages and greetings are exported as mp3s, text messages as microformatted html, and forwarding phone numbers as a vcard."
The Google Takeout initiative was first launched in June 2010 by an engineering team at Google who have dubbed themselves the Data Liberation Front. The service was designed "to make it easier for users to move their data in and out of Google products."
Social network Facebook followed suit in October 2010 with a "Download Your Information" service but bloggers such as TechCrunch's Michael Arrington complained that "[y]ou couldn't use it to export all your photos to Flickr, for example. That means it's a nice PR product, but it doesn't address the core problem at all.'