Facebook Gets Around Google's Data Block

Lora Bentley

Google announced a few days ago that it would not be allowing Facebook or other social networks automatic access to Gmail or Android contact lists unless those sites gave Google the same automatic access to their data feeds.


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If Facebook can remember these five facts about user privacy, its headaches might begin to fade.

The change reportedly came as a result of Facebook's decision to sign a new search deal with Microsoft's Bing and limit Google's access to Facebook info. According to GigaOm:

A source familiar with Google's thinking said the company made a deliberate choice to go after Facebook on the issue of data portability..."This is not a blanket policy. [Google] is effectively enforcing it on a case-by-case basis - and Facebook is clearly the biggest, and the most closed" in terms of its data-portability policies.

But Facebook has found a workaround. Users can now download their contact list from Google (or other e-mail services, for that matter) and then upload them to Facebook. Google doesn't have to approve if the users do it themselves. As writer Matthew Ingram points out, Google could make it harder for users to get to their contact lists, but that would pose a public relations problem, to say the least.


In response to Facebook's actions, a Google spokesperson told Ingram:

We're disappointed that Facebook didn't invest their time in making it possible for their users to get their contacts out of Facebook.

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