Facebook imports Gmail data anyway, Google "disappointed"

By on November 9, 2010, 1:17 PM
Facebook has decided to ignore Google's attempt to block the social networking site from grabbing the search giant's data, according to All Facebook. Palo Alto has found a way around Mountain View's restriction and is leveraging a Google feature that lets users download their own data for their own use. Facebook gives its new users a direct download link and then instructs them to upload the Google file back to Facebook.

Last week, Google banned Facebook from accessing Gmail social and professional contact information. The company tweaked its the Terms of Service for its Google Contacts Data API so that websites which access Google Contacts will need to offer access to their data too. Facebook has never allowed users to export their contact information, and it doesn't think that now, when Google wants its data so badly, is a good time to start.

Nevertheless, the world's biggest social network still wants its new users to find out whether their Gmail contacts also have Facebook accounts, so it has implemented the aforementioned workaround. It may require a few more steps (it's not automated unlike the previous method that used Google's API), but it means Facebook gets what it wants, without having to give Google access to its much more valuable social graph. As we've already said, this means war. Google likely won't give up so easily, but it can't simply disable the feature for exporting contacts, so the company is going to have to fight Facebook via other means.

"We're disappointed that Facebook didn't invest their time in making it possible for their users to get their contacts out of Facebook," a Google spokesperson said in a statement. "As passionate believers that people should be able to control the data they create, we will continue to allow our users to export their Google contacts."





User Comments: 19

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bakape said:

Google Wars - from battling Mac to invading countries. Always entertaining!

Frostback said:

While technically Facebook is not violating the ToS as it is the Gmail users data, it seems like a slightly shady workaround. Facebook is still reeling from all the privacy issues they've faced this year and don't want another issue to rear it's ugly head. Problem is, if Google can offer a download of the data in their Gmail users contacts, why can't Facebook offer the same thing? It's obviously not a technical issue, more of a corporate policy issue. Facebook will release the data for one thing: money.

Jibberish18 said:

This means Fargin war............

customcarvin customcarvin said:

Facebook should tread carefully around Google.... they might have an accident and be known as Faceplant.... .....

VitaminC said:

I wonder how many of the facebook addicts out there would even consider this an issue if they knew what was going on.

Neojt said:

somebody is looking for a law suit ...

sMILEY4ever said:

bakape said:

Google Wars - from battling Mac to invading countries. Always entertaining!

I lold, even though there is some truth to it.

Facebook->:thumbsdown:

slh28 slh28, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I wonder how many normal Facebook/Gmail users even care about these issues, at the end of the day people just want to sync their contacts!

Puiu Puiu said:

@slh28: i don't care about facebook, but i do want to some "blood spilled". in the end us, the users should benefit from this "war".

Razerblade said:

I smell trouble! If Facebook can use gmail contacts then Gmail should be able to use Facebook. It is only fair. I wonder if Google will find a way around this?!

klepto12 klepto12, TechSpot Paladin, said:

way to go mark he likes to screw everybody if you haven't seen the social network its great. I do think its wrong for facebook to do this anyway when they were asked not to.

Recipe7 Recipe7 said:

Billions vs. Billions = doesn't matter. A lawsuit will still end in both still having Billions.

OneArmedScissor said:

Frostback said:

Facebook is still reeling from all the privacy issues they've faced this year and don't want another issue to rear it's ugly head.

Lol they don't give a rat's ass about "privacy issues." It wouldn't be Facebook to begin with if they did.

Mushroom said:

Just what Facebook needs, a bad image...oh wait.

ruzveh said:

Indirectly we are making copies of our own contacts everywhere. Facebook servers are already floating eveywhere on torrent sites and thing like this is really a shameful thing

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

customcarvin said:

Facebook should tread carefully around Google.... they might have an accident and be known as Faceplant.... .....

It rather can be the other way round, because google is perceiving facebook as a long term threat. Anyway, frankly I don't like the idea of few big players get the ability to control how 'users can use their own data'.

pacostrano said:

My contacts of Gmail are not link and it will never be

surbey said:

slh28 said:

I wonder how many normal Facebook/Gmail users even care about these issues, at the end of the day people just want to sync their contacts!

Many don't and that's the problem. If people do not actively use and support programs that push for platform independence or fewer data restrictions than they might go the wayside. I think our society got VERY lucky that a company like google is run by mostly sane and thoughtful individuals. Can you imagine if Google wanted to start charging for use? Or if they only wanted certain pages to display that support them exclusively? We'd be screwed.

On this issue, Google is completely right. The guys at Facebook have never been on the ball with what users want or what is best for everyone involved.

Zilpha Zilpha said:

Great - two of the biggest companies with the worst privacy policies fighting over whose shady privacy policies are violated more.....

I am so glad I don't use either - you folks are insane putting your lives in the hands of things like Facebook and Google.

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