Feeds

Google alerts users to Facebook contacts 'trap'

High and mighty gets sly and fighty

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
MI6 oversight report on Lee Rigby murder: US web giants offer 'safe haven for TERRORISM'
PM urged to 'prioritise issue' after Facebook hindsight find
Assange™ slumps back on Ecuador's sofa after detention appeal binned
Swedish court rules there's 'great risk' WikiLeaker will dodge prosecution
NSA mass spying reform KILLED by US Senators
Democrats needed just TWO more votes to keep alive bill reining in some surveillance
'Internet Freedom Panel' to keep web overlord ICANN out of Russian hands – new proposal
Come back with our internet! cries Republican drawing up bill
What a Mesa: Apple vows to re-use titsup GT sapphire glass plant
Commits to American manufacturing ... of secret tech
prev story

Whitepapers

Driving business with continuous operational intelligence
Introducing an innovative approach offered by ExtraHop for producing continuous operational intelligence.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.