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:


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