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Google bans Facebook, others from one-way data exports

updated 07:00 pm EDT, Fri November 5, 2010

Google blocks one-way data transfers from Facebook

Google escalated a growing conflict between itself and Facebook on Friday by stating that it would no longer let outside services sync Google contacts unless they supported two-way transfers. The policy change appeared to single out Facebook, which only allows contact imports and has no way to export information. Sites that don't allow contact information to get out create a "data dead end" that prevent changes from getting back to other areas, it said.

"We have decided to change our approach slightly to reflect the fact that users often aren't aware that once they have imported their contacts into sites like Facebook, they are effectively trapped," Google wrote.

The policy shouldn't affect the use of contact info with device sync, since the iPhone and most other platforms usually propagate changes back.

Google didn't discuss motivations outside of data freedom, but it's suspected the company is retaliating for Facebook's current refusal to make its information easily searchable and exportable. Having access to changes made in Facebook would let Google not only provide more detailed search results using the social network but would let it target advertising against those searches.

Facebook's web code has sometimes been criticized for having many proprietary elements, but its hesitation to open up may also stem from its concerns about Google's publicized plans to add social networking components. Company CEO Eric Schmidt stopped short of committing to a social network when confirming intentions in September, but buyouts of young, related companies like Jambool have signaled that it may at least partly compete with Facebook.

The existing social site's founder Mark Zuckerberg visited Steve Jobs last month and is rumored to have had an incentive to collaborate with Apple. Both are opposed to Google products that have impinged on their core businesses and may find deeper connections to undermine Android or Google's social features.

by MacNN Staff



  1. bigmig

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The bigger picture is...

    Google and Facebook are giving everything they have in a push to win the title of "Creepiest Company Ever."

  1. Foe Hammer

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Let's Hope Their Battle Ends ...

    ... like the Star Wars fan film "Duality." Minus a Sith who's even bigger.

  1. Fast iBook

    Joined: Dec 1969



    This is nineteen eighty four.

    - A

  1. macnixer

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Plus one for Google on this one

    I do not like Mark Suckerberg and Facebook. Good one Dr. Schmidt. Kick some a** out there.

    I am not too sure if SJ nad Suckerberg will be able to come to a conclusion. SJ wants the developers to let the user know that they are about to jump off the cliff. Suckerberg wants the user to jump off the cliff and not tell them till someone comes around and sees the idiot deep down in muck.

  1. aardman

    Joined: Dec 1969


    comment title

    It's so like Facebook to see nothing wrong at all in getting access to google's data and not reciprocating. That's how a person with narcissistic-sociopathic personality disorder thinks. This company needs to die. They are amassing so much power and influence and they will for sure abuse it one day and hurt a lot of people. Not because they're maliciously evil but because they really cannot distinguish right from wrong (that's the sociopathic part) and have no consideration at all for how their actions might affect others (that's the narcissistic part).

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