Facebook Isn't Sharing Their Toys; Google Bars User Data From Facebook

Starting very soon, you won’t be able to import all of your Gmail contacts in one shot into your Facebook account. Looks like Google is a little miffed at Facebook for not making tools available to let the information flow both ways; Google wants the ability to import Facebook friends and use other Facebook data as it wants to, like Facebook can now use Google’s data.

Facebook will not be the only company to get the axe from the mighty Google; any company that does not let information flow both ways will be denied access to account information.

“We have decided to change our approach slightly to reflect the fact that users often aren’t aware that once they have imported their contacts into sites like Facebook, they are effectively trapped,” Google said in an emailed statement.

“We will no longer allow websites to automate the import of users’ Google Contacts (via our API) unless they allow similar export to other sites,” Google said.

The new rules are supposed to be about making a Google user’s information less available to other services while still making it available to the user. Google states that users will still be able to download their address books, etc. into any machine-readable format. However, I know some people who wouldn’t be able to do that if you promised them endless bacon as a reward. The non-tech-savvy have, effectively, been barred from importing their Gmail contacts into Facebook.

Analysts weighed in on the news with suppositions that Google is afraid of the competition from Facebook, others see it as Google trying to gain access to Facebook’s information to leverage their search results. If it is the latter, then Google, block away. While I and the rest of the readers of this blog likely have our privacy settings on Def-Con 4 mode, the rest of the world doesn’t, and they are likely to be a little surprised when the fact that they “like” Britney Spears shows up for the entire world to see.

What do you think of Google’s move? Unwieldy power-wielding or smart business sense?

As Reported By: Reuters

Written by Angela West

Copywriter by day, Angela's ultimate dream is to open a Fallout-themed pub featuring authentic Squirrel on a Stick and wait staff with Pip-Boys.
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7 Comments »

 
#1
phonixor
November 7th, 2010 at 4:28 am

Only play nice with once that also play nice…
sounds fair enough…

 
 
#2
Ahmad
November 7th, 2010 at 5:34 am

Google should have done this sooner, its only fair that if you want access to their information freely then you should allow access to your information as well.

 
 
#3
Dung Deets
November 7th, 2010 at 6:15 am

Wow, this really does make a LOT of sense dude.

http://www.web-privacy.edu.tc

 
 
#4
Sullenest
November 7th, 2010 at 6:49 am

To me, it seems like Google is slightly overwhelmed by the increasing popularity of Facebook. When giants like these compete, consumers profit.

 
 
#5
Greg
November 7th, 2010 at 7:12 am

+1 for Google! Facebook is ridiculous.

 
 
#6
thomas e
November 7th, 2010 at 7:17 am

I think that google is going to start facing a backlash if it restricts data to its competitors too much, since the EU is already investigating a few competition complaints.

 
 
#7
Donny
November 7th, 2010 at 10:05 pm

Let’s also not overlook the obvious. I’m sure FB deliberately blocked Google from importing any contact data as a preemtive move to keep it’s users from trying to send invites to existing friend lists when GoogleMe launches. I’m sure Google was hoping for t his kind of access in order to grow its user base and get quick adoption. Other websites (such as FourSquare) have no problem searching your FB Contacts and inviting them to be users of the system. So yes, Google…block away…if they don’t want to share, you don’t have to either

 

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