Google tells Gmail users Facebook is a trap

By on November 10, 2010, 2:37 PM

As we said it would, Google has struck back in the recent war it started against Facebook over contact data. Now, when you try to export your contacts to Facebook, Google gives you a big warning that calls Facebook a trap, in attempt to convince you not to take your contacts to the social network.

Last week, Google banned Facebook from accessing Gmail contact data by tweaking 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, but it still wants its new users to find out whether their Gmail contacts also have Facebook accounts, so earlier this week it implemented a workaround. The world's biggest social network now tells new users to use a Google feature that helps them download their own data, and then instructs them to upload the file back to Facebook. Now, Google is showing the following message when new Facebook users come to export their contact data from Gmail:

The warning can be viewed by anyone on this page (via ReadWriteWeb). If you can't see the image above or navigate to the link, we've pasted the corresponding text below:

quote:

Hold on a second. Are you super sure you want to import your contact information for your friends into a service that won't let you get it out?

Here's the not-so-fine print. You have been directed to this page from a site that doesn't allow you to re-export your data to other services, essentially locking up your contact data about your friends. So once you import your data there, you won't be able to get it out. We think this is an important thing for you to know before you import your data there. Although we strongly disagree with this data protectionism, the choice is yours. Because, after all, you should have control over your data.

Of course, you are always free to download your contacts using the export feature in Google Contacts.

This public service announcement is brought to you on behalf of your friends in Google Contacts.

[__] Register a complaint over data protectionism. (Google will not record or display your name or email address.)

[__] Proceed with exporting this data. I recognize that once it's been imported to another service, that service may not allow me to export it back out.

Select one or more options. Cancel and go back





User Comments: 58

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Ranger12 Ranger12 said:

HAHA Thats great. What now facebook!?

windmill007 said:

Google is starting to sound like a bunch of cry babies. I wish they would just embrace facebook. Google can't rule everything and we would have much better Google services if it integrated into facebook.

flocka said:

they want to be the microsoft of the internet

bakape said:

they are the Microsoft of the internet imo

princeton princeton said:

But it's true... Facebook will take your data and use it as they see fit. That message from google is 100 percent fact.

jwdR1 said:

Now that is the pot calling the kettle black!

I'm sure both companies have their users' privacy interests at heart.

Bless their hearts.

Demons said:

The battle continues... Kudos to Google though, for not giving up. You can't trust facebook with all of your contact information and so many people just hand it over without thinking. Say goodbye to your privacy!

Cryptopsy said:

[_CHECK_] Register a complaint over data protectionism. (Google will not record or display your name or email address.)

treeski treeski said:

windmill007 said:

Google is starting to sound like a bunch of cry babies. I wish they would just embrace facebook. Google can't rule everything and we would have much better Google services if it integrated into facebook.

Bunch of cry babies? They are fighting so that users have more options and more control. Sure, Google would benefit if Facebook went along and allowed its users to export contacts data... but so would EVERYONE else!

Gogogoogle!

Jibberish18 said:

That....is......FANTASTIC! I had a chuckle on my face as I was reading it. Are you SUPER sure?

madboyv1, TechSpot Paladin, said:

At least Google suggests that users can do whatever they want with their data... Of course Google can do almost whatever they want too, and facebooks exists because of their "data management". lol

Nima304 said:

windmill007 said:

Google is starting to sound like a bunch of cry babies. I wish they would just embrace facebook. Google can't rule everything and we would have much better Google services if it integrated into facebook.

I agree. This is getting childish.

vangrat said:

This is not so bad. They are just giving their users the knowledge about what will happen if they transfer their data. They are not blocking it, so it is all in good measure.

That being said. Google, the company that knows everything, about everyone, all the time, is worried about privacy?!?!

akannitaoheed said:

It's quite difficult to know who to believe. I see no big deal with face book not letting out everybody's details to every tom **** n harry. It's just okay by me anyway.

Guest said:

I love Google. They are right to hate Facebook. Reading that warning made me laugh out loud. GO DIE FACEBOOK!

Leeky Leeky said:

Too many people don't realise how much information on individuals Facebook harvests. Worse still, it seems that the vast majority of its members are blissfully unaware of this as well!

This time I support Google fully.

Guest said:

That;s (sort of) what they're trying to do, you *****. Except Facebook refuse to offer the same export features Gmail does to allow friends to find each other on the respective networks.

Guest said:

Google is starting to sound like a bunch of cry babies. I wish they would just embrace facebook. Google can't rule everything and we would have much better Google services if it integrated into facebook.

That;s (sort of) what they're trying to do, you *****. Except Facebook refuse to offer the same export features Gmail does to allow friends to find each other on the respective networks.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Its funny, FB has always been quite open in its battle against privacy, conveniently omitting the fact that they're making money hand over fist selling your information to marketers.

Just like that a-hole who bought up the rights to old Las Vegas newspaper articles allowing him to sue everyone on the internet, what is stopping someone buying the FB data from some soon to go under company, and then proceed to post it online, unless you pay a fee to "opt out" of the publishing.

And considering how many people are falling victim, willingly or not, to various random phishing attacks, how much worse would they be when the person is specifically targeting you, using data from your FB account. Their success rate would probably skyrocket.

Serag said:

It's not a complete noble attempt at warning users there, google is wary of facebook's ambition and potential if given the right circumstances.

KG363 KG363 said:

this war is childish

Classic Rock said:

I support Google in this. Personally I think it would be a much better world if everyone on facebook exchanged their accounts for a Gmail account. May facebook rot and die, quickly.

compu4 said:

LMFAO! The Admiral Ackbar picture is priceless.

Guest said:

gogogo goooooooogle

Puiu Puiu said:

It's kind of interesting that they never used the name FaceBook on that "not so fine print". i'm sure that many people will actually stop just because it's too annoying to read it all and some might actually think that google is protecting them from one major scam. (i do consider FB unsafe to actually put some important information there).

PS: i'm hoping that this social network fever will actually cool down soon.

DokkRokken said:

puiu said:

It's kind of interesting that they never used the name FaceBook on that "not so fine print". i'm sure that many people will actually stop just because it's too annoying to read it all and some might actually think that google is protecting them from one major scam.

Well, at least it's entertaining to read so that will likely keep some people's attention. Better than most of the e-jargon that people have to sift through.

PS: i'm hoping that this social network fever will actually cool down soon.

With efforts like Google's here, and increasing concerns over privacy, and 'cyber-bullying,' I think people are taking second looks about their online interactions. Chances are things will cool down as people, watchdog groups and governments begin to demand even more stringent policies of social networking websites.

hellokitty[hk] hellokitty[hk], I'm a TechSpot Evangelist, said:

Lmao...

Nothing else to say.

Guest said:

Between these 2 companies, I'd rather choose Google over Facebook. Im using gmail and no privacy issues i have encounter. they have the reputation and they are the leader in the internet world. I dont have facebook, just for one reason, it is the source of greed in this world. every user of facebook are self promotional.

Many lives were broken apart or loss because of facebook. Now folks do you agree with me?

Recipe7 Recipe7 said:

Facebook is a trap... it traps your time and it will not give it back to you. Timetrap, that's what I'll call it.

mtrenal said:

That's a very aggressive move by google. It certainly makes it seem very dangerous to do, especially for the standard facebook user who would just see this warning and get spooked.

zogo said:

This is uncommon for large corporations like these. What's next "facebook will announce that google is a scam and virus". This is stupid! They should talk more often to their advisors on the subject "Behavior"

:P

uttaradhaka said:

The info in the agreement are fact. We all know that facebook uses our info as they see fit.

So, whats wrong in pointing it out?

And besides, usually, when the giants fight, the customers come out at the top in the end.

Guest said:

I post on Facebook the information that i wouldn't care anyone to know...If you put something that would destroy your family than it's a lesson for you...I love FB because it became so popular that i don't need to sign in to multiple messengers to find out what's everyone up to and post what's up with me to every friends of mine. I did started to receive scam emails that says that presumable coming from my facebook friends, but it's kind of rare about 3 times a week. I can leave with that

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Leeky said:

Too many people don't realise how much information on individuals Facebook harvests. Worse still, it seems that the vast majority of its members are blissfully unaware of this as well!

This time I support Google fully.

Have you considered how much information is 'extracted / harvested' by search engines in general from your search habits (along side information about user as well)? I don't see facebook any different in this regard, for me all these are one face of the same coin. Hence to make it simple, this fight isn't about 'user rights' it is about 'control', period.

omega00 said:

I will give Facebook my Gmail data, in exchange for a few thousand shares of their IPO...whenever that may be.

speeedy6 said:

This is small battle but Google just feels it should be a two way street and I agree. That or no transfer of contacts at all. I would rather there not be any transfers allowed simply because Facebook could already have your Google contacts and you don't even know it. Far fetched? Think again.

Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

compu4 said:

LMFAO! The Admiral Ackbar picture is priceless.

Yeap! Ackbar ftw!

Leeky Leeky said:

Have you considered how much information is 'extracted / harvested' by search engines in general from your search habits (along side information about user as well)? I don't see facebook any different in this regard, for me all these are one face of the same coin. Hence to make it simple, this fight isn't about 'user rights' it is about 'control', period.

I didn't actually, but is it as personally identifiable as your real personal information contained on a social networking site like Facebook?

Sure google could harvest my search routines (and maybe even admire my porn searches!), and see websites I visit, but they aren't getting my personal information like DOB, my address, phone numbers, mobile (cell) numbers, information about my traits, like stuff I like, or dislike, and countless other pieces of information that come in very handy for marketing campaigns, and usable information to not only identify me, but find out everything about me.

Or am I wrong? I'm keen to know more about what sort of information search engines like google keep if you know...

Razerblade said:

Nice one Google! Facebook expect to take but not give! It's not fair to take stuff from Google but not allow Google to take the same type of information from them. Hopefully this will make Facebook allow the export of Friends to Gmail.

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I have to say I'll join to the love to google, besides some casual games facebook is dead for me

mkillor said:

Google is right! Facebook is getting too powerful. I'd rather give it to Google.

edison5do said:

gO GOG GOOGLEE bite them hard!!, to see if they stop playing with everybody data!

treetops treetops said:

When some a hole calls you to take a survey thank facebook

stewi0001 stewi0001 said:

ok so when is one of them gonna own the other? XD

AnonymousSurfer AnonymousSurfer said:

HAHA! That's funny...

If you think of it, there are hundreds of thousands if not millions of cyber-wars going on everyday.

sMILEY4ever said:

Google just slapped Facebook.

Guest said:

"When some a hole calls you to take a survey thank facebook"

You think people doing surveys are aholes? How do you think governments find out what's going on it the country they are supposed to govern? You want them to guess? You don't think that might mean they end up doing an even worse job than they already do?

Anyway, most research companies use Random Digit Dial; they don't get details from from a third party, because that mucks up the demographics. Polling companies need RANDOM sample if they are going to produce accurate statistics.

No, next time some ahole program generates an internet ad that seems to have a disconcerting amount of info about you, THAT is when you want to be blaming facebook.

crazyboy88 said:

windmill007 said:

Google is starting to sound like a bunch of cry babies. I wish they would just embrace facebook. Google can't rule everything and we would have much better Google services if it integrated into facebook.

Google isn't a cry baby, Facebook is actually pretty small compared to Google in terms of net worth, assets, subscribers, or whatever else you want to compare it with. They are pissed off because Facebook won't share information which Google has been sharing with them freely. In short Facebook should learn how to share or else big daddy will get pissed off.

surbey said:

You have to love Google.

"Although we strongly disagree with this data protectionism, the choice is yours. Because, after all, you should have control over your data. " That is simply fantastic. At least they aren't going against their principles and refusing to let you move the data. That takes REAL integrity folks.

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