Facebook Nov. 9 accused Google of being open where it is convenient. Google warned users who try to pull Gmail data into Facebook that they won't be able to get it out.
It sure has gotten ugly between Google and Facebook with
regard to data portability, an industry catch-phrase used to describe the ability
for users to import and export data from Web services such as social networks.
Breaking its code of silence regarding Google's
allegations that it is a closed network, a Facebook engineer Nov. 9 lashed out
at the search engine, accusing it of being open where it is convenient.
responded by warning users who try to pull Gmail data into Facebook that they
won't be able to get it out.
This is the latest in a scrum over data that goes back
three years when Facebook declined to join Google's OpenSocial effort
or endorse Google Friend Connect.
Here's how it started.
Google Nov. 4 changed
its Contacts Data API
(section 5.8) that prevents companies from letting users
import Gmail data where the companies don't offer comparable import and export
Interestingly, Google said it would only enforce this new
policy on a case-by-case basis, so as not harm fledgling companies looking to
leverage the vast Gmail network.
Google made its change to apply data portability pressure
to Facebook, which let users automatically populate their accounts with their Google
Gmail contacts but does not let users take their contacts information outside
Interestingly, while Google ceased to let Facebook users
automatically harvest Gmail contacts, it provided them an olive branch. Users
could leverage Google's "data liberation
" tool to download their Gmail contacts to their computers
in a ZIP file, then upload those contacts into Facebook.
Facebook declined to speak publicly about the matter but within
a few days of Google's API change, the company installed an easy download
button that deep links to Google's own data liberation tool. The workaround
effectively let users continue to automatically import Gmail contacts to