"Ultimately, the EU Data Protection Directive, which ended up inserted into the national law of all EU countries, could also be a legal block on data portability. If Robert Scoble had pulled his stunt in Europe, the entire ’scraping Facebook’ issue may have ended in a serious court case."
Again and again, as evidenced in some of the comments on that TechCrunch post, people are totally missing the point with this story. The issue isn’t one of someone’s right to access and port their own data to another service: it’s the right of individuals not to have data they’ve supplied to a service ported without their explicit consent somewhere else.
If you type in a bunch of names and addresses and upload it to a server, that’s yours to do with as you please. On Facebook, you don’t do that. You simply "friend" someone, and they make their data available to you on Facebook. It’s not, then, "your" data to do with as you please.