Google locks Facebook out of Gmail

By on November 6, 2010, 2:15 PM
Google has launched an attack against Facebook, saying it will no longer allow the social network to access Gmail social and professional contact information. To do so, the search giant recently tweaked the Terms of Service for its Google Contacts Data API.

Until now, Google has allowed its users to transfer data, including their contacts, to other websites. For Facebook, this means new users can find out whether their Gmail contacts also have Facebook accounts simply by typing in their Gmail username and password as part of the Facebook signup process. The Terms of Service change, however, means that websites which access Google Contacts will need to offer access to their data to Google too. Since Facebook doesn't do that, it appears that users will soon no longer be able to import their Google Contacts into the site.

Facebook is still allowing its users to import contact information from Google. Right now, only the rules have changed, but we're willing to bet that Mountain View will end up simply blocking Palo Alto from accessing its data if it doesn't get what it wants.

Facebook has never allowed users to export their contact information; the social networking giant recently launched a Facebook data download feature that gives you a list of contact names, but that's it. Facebook likely doesn't want to allow sharing contact information for two reasons. First of all, it wants to avoid another privacy fiasco. Secondly, it wants to continue to dominate the social scene on the Web.

We understand why Google expects data reciprocity, but the way it is going about it isn't likely to be very successful. The fact is that Facebook's social graph is much more valuable than Google's. Usually, when two major Web companies get competitive, the consumer wins. So far, however, this approach seems like it won't do users any good.





User Comments: 39

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compu4 said:

I do not think that google's attack will have much of an effect. People will simply import their contacts manually.

Mushroom said:

It's probably a lot more of the second reason than the first.

acc202121 said:

I totally agree, in this scenario the consumer looses!!

This isn't the way to solve a problem.

Decimae said:

We understand why Google expects data reciprocity,

Why exactly? The customer should pick who they want to give what information to, not google.

Guest said:

Good move by Google. Facebook needs to let people access their contact information. People don't even realize how much they are giving away to Facebook, with nothing in return. Google should have done this years ago.

Guest said:

@Decimae Even after the change, Google users get to choose who to give their information to. It just takes more work to do it. On the other hand, Facebook users don't get to choose at all who to give their information to, because Facebook doesn't even give an export option for contact information.

Facebook's recently released export feature insults our intelligence. It turns everything into web pages -- hardly usable as export data. And as the article here points out, it doesn't include contact info.

Please people, pay attention to what is happening here. The control that Facebook is gaining over the personal data of 500 million users is worse than anything Google has done.

Decimae said:

Guest said:

@Decimae Even after the change, Google users get to choose who to give their information to. It just takes more work to do it. On the other hand, Facebook users don't get to choose at all who to give their information to, because Facebook doesn't even give an export option for contact information.

Facebook's recently released export feature insults our intelligence. It turns everything into web pages -- hardly usable as export data. And as the article here points out, it doesn't include contact info.

Please people, pay attention to what is happening here. The control that Facebook is gaining over the personal data of 500 million users is worse than anything Google has done.

I'm not saying facebook is in the right; I'm just saying this is a questionable move from google as well. I don't get why google should decide that if users want to export their data, google should be able to read whatever they're sending it to. Of course, facebook's policy on this is not good at all, but this article is about google's move, not facebook's policy.

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Like google doesn't know everything we do...

Puiu Puiu said:

Now this is a really interesting piece of news. Two giants clashing and we don't know which one is more evil than the other. I don't have any important information of facebook about me so i don't really care about that, but it's going to be a war that i'm going to watch over.

grvalderrama said:

lol...what a whinners!! I just have 5 contacts in my Gmail acc. so, this is not much of a problem for me. Gmail acc was the last I got, and I only use it for business purposes, and facebook, since it's easier to manage all the incoming mail from this page. All my contacts' mails go to my hotmail acc. it's a good way to keep things tidy.

About the topic itself... well, have nothing to say about it, this time. One question, why would someone need to export his/her contacts' information from facebook, considering that you just use facebook in your leisure time? (like I do...)

treeski treeski said:

grvalderrama said:

One question, why would someone need to export his/her contacts' information from facebook, considering that you just use facebook in your leisure time? (like I do...)

I would love to be able to add all of my facebook contacts to gmail or my outlook (which I can, but only if I connect to my facebook account through outlook, which I don't want to do).

Timonius Timonius said:

It seems facebook is 'invading' everywhere, I'm glad Google is severing ties. I've always wondered about the security and privacy of information between the two.

Razerblade said:

I think this is unfair on google. If facebook can have access to gmail then gmail should have access to facebook. I kind of understand the privacy fears but its only contact information which facebook takes from google anyway.

VitaminC said:

Facebook is the new AOL. Facebook freinds are like those damn AOL cd's.

Unfortunately AOL was around for a while before viable alternatives and better ways of doing everything popped up.

/sigh....patiently waiting...

slh28 slh28, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I guess most people on Facebook already have their friends added and even if they don't I'm guessing most people who use Facebook don't really email people anyway.

Regenweald said:

Google: "We assimilate, no one assimilates us"

razzrap said:

well there's still yahoo mail =P

limpangel limpangel said:

Facebook: "All your Friends are belong to us."

Guest said:

These sites are all the same arrogance doen't come into it it's a load of dickheads running these things wit NO regard for peoples privacy in the least

At one time if you knew a persons phone number anmd typed it into a google search you were presented with everything that google had on that person bank details social records works details NOTHING was sacred and still isn't as far as I can see

I avoid google and all these type utilities like the plague

Another thing I don't allow is anything to be saved to my Doccuments and settings area nothing gets near my systems drive ever If I can avoid it

I don't even allow items I instal to go to program files I have my own folder for what I instal

I will not allow automatic updates from microsoft to run as I want to knowm what unnessessary junk and crap microsoft is trying to palm off on me

Guest said:

These sites are all the same arrogance doen't come into it it's a load of dickheads running these things wit NO regard for peoples privacy in the least

At one time if you knew a persons phone number anmd typed it into a google search you were presented with everything that google had on that person bank details social records works details NOTHING was sacred and still isn't as far as I can see

I avoid google and all these type utilities like the plague

Another thing I don't allow is anything to be saved to my Doccuments and settings area nothing gets near my systems drive ever If I can avoid it

I don't even allow items I instal to go to program files I have my own folder for what I instal

I will not allow automatic updates from microsoft to run as I want to knowm what unnessessary junk and crap microsoft is trying to palm off on me

Okkkkk, nothing weird and paranoid about this behavior then.

And yeah, Google are quite often dickheads, but in this instance they're being perfectly reasonable; if Facebook are using access from Google accounts for their find contacts features, then it's only fair they should return the favour to Google. I'm not sure those spouting nonsense like "why shoold google see everything i do on faecbook" quite understand the article.

peteyhawkins said:

I think this is about time! Facebook gets away with far too much spam, their site is far too cluttered and if there was another more simple system out there without all the guff, even if it had ads I would use it. OR pay £10 a month for an ad free version.

hassaan said:

In substance this will not hurt Facebook but the end users. People will always find a way to circumvent these hurdles.

Recipe7 Recipe7 said:

peteyhawkins said:

I think this is about time! Facebook gets away with far too much spam, their site is far too cluttered and if there was another more simple system out there without all the guff, even if it had ads I would use it. OR pay £10 a month for an ad free version.

Good luck finding anyone else to use it too, haha.

FransB said:

Its good that gmail doesnt integrate all that crap :P like the new live messenger and stuff.

Cryptopsy said:

I'd really want to see Google get over Facebook as I really hate Facef*ck

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

@Cryptopsy

Google isn't much better than facebook; so get over it; and let the two evils fight and hope the some other lesser evil may take advantage.

By the way I don't have facebook account nor I use google; sometimes it is better to be neutral and be able to see the bigger picture.

silvershad0w said:

I completely agree with the author's views in this article. If a user specifies that they want their data stored in Google contact's to be shared with Facebook then there shouldn't be an issue. I don't understand why Google wants to be able to access similar data stored on Facebook. Might just be Google's never ending mission of caching of all knowledge and information in existence!

Faller said:

With two ad based companies, how can we possibly win from them battling?

akannitaoheed said:

There is this saying of my people that goes thus :"When two elephants fight, the grasses are the ones that suffer". It's the users that bears the brunt most of the time when tussles like these come up. Let's just hope they reach some meaningful and consumer friendly compromise. In the first place I wouldnt want to share too much info about me on any social website, so not much hurt to me if they stay stiff-headed.

crazyboy88 said:

Come on its give and take, Google shares information, and so should facebook.

dlen said:

I think in this case Google is right. If they share information to a portal, the portal shall do the same. The other side is if user is aware what kind of information is exchanged.

starfreezer said:

Guest said:

Good move by Google. Facebook needs to let people access their contact information. People don't even realize how much they are giving away to Facebook, with nothing in return. Google should have done this years ago.

Exactly what I would have written! Thanks for saving my time and doing all the work for me... and you will get nothing from me in return, muhuhuhaahaaa!

Flipcharm said:

Thumbs up for Google, down for FB.

Zuck's face (strategy if you like) really needed some bitchslapping

taea00 said:

Maybe this'll force Facebook to open up a bit? Or maybe Google is jealous of Facebook? Or maybe Google is thinking about getting into the Social Networking field themselves and this is just the first step? I personally think the "voices" told them to do it. Not a Facebook fan anyway, so I don't really care about this.

flocka said:

google is on a rampage lately....every other post is about them[google]

Demons said:

Good for google... Facebook doesn't need to be sticking its nose into more than what it already has. To many people waste way too much time on facebook anyway. Are you so lazy that you can't find friends without searching your gmail account. I wouldn't trust facebook with my gmail account anyway!

hassaan said:

I'm on the Google side of this. Facebook finds tons of ways to import data from you and so much in fact that it even asks you if you want it to be automated sometimes. I can see nothing but bad things coming from this especially since there are a lot of non-computer savvy people on Facebook. I mean, you have grandmothers and people that wouldn't normally use a computer on Facebook. It is these people who are getting taken advantage of by these devices, not us geeks who use the computer everyday for millions of tasks. I think it is good that Google (evil empire that they may be) is trying to block Facebook.

akannitaoheed said:

hassaan said:

I'm on the Google side of this. Facebook finds tons of ways to import data from you and so much in fact that it even asks you if you want it to be automated sometimes. I can see nothing but bad things coming from this especially since there are a lot of non-computer savvy people on Facebook. I mean, you have grandmothers and people that wouldn't normally use a computer on Facebook. It is these people who are getting taken advantage of by these devices, not us geeks who use the computer everyday for millions of tasks. I think it is good that Google (evil empire that they may be) is trying to block Facebook.

This is not about being on one side, when people's details keep exchanging hands here and there every now and then, something of it may drop in the wrong hands. Am just not comfortable unrestricted movement of data.

marvingarcia said:

This is nothing but a "Tit for tat" policy!!

leanspa

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