Feeds

Google alerts users to Facebook contacts 'trap'

High and mighty gets sly and fighty

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Google is now telling anyone stupid enough to import Gmail contacts into Facebook to reconsider such a foolish move because it’s a “trap”.

The two companies have been angrily shaking handbags at each other over the past few days in a public protest over who has the best data mine on the interwebs.

Just yesterday, a Facebook engineer dissed Google for snipping Mark Zuckerberg’s access to the Gmail Contacts API, by amusingly accusing the Mountain View Chocolate Factory of data-hoarding hypocrisy.

Now Google has kicked in a window and thrown a fire extinguisher at Facebook HQ to make its own protest against the Zuck one’s data grab.

“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?” asks Google on its contacts export page.

“Here’s the not-so-fine print. You have been directed to this page from a site [Facebook] 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.”

Google, in its “trap” message, tried to come across as playful rather than all-out bitchy. But the world’s largest ad broker is, in effect, asking its users to choose sides in the Web2.0 war to end all wars. Or not.

Helpfully, the renowned data miner even offered up a link to anyone interested in registering a complaint over data protectionism.

Google's wonks added that, unlike the launch of the firm's botched Buzz service, it wouldn’t record or display your name or email address. Which is jolly nice of them.

Late last week, Google updated the terms of service for its Contacts API, preventing Facebook and other third-party applications from tapping the programming interface unless they offer something similar.

Facebook has long offered its users the ability to import contact names and email addresses from Gmail, via Google's API. At the same time, it prevents them from automatically exporting such data to other sites, including Google services: a fact that doesn't sit right with the internet kingpin. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Hey, Scots. Microsoft's Bing thinks you'll vote NO to independence
World's top Google-finding website calls it for the UK
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
OECD lashes out at tax avoiding globocorps' location-flipping antics
You hear that, Amazon, Google, Microsoft et al?
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.