Google faces off with Facebook (week in review)

The rivalry between two of Silicon Valley’s most prominent companies is heating up as the two duke it out over data policies and employees.


A few days after Google changed the terms of service for sites using Gmail contacts data to require two-way data exporting if they want to allow their users to automatically import Gmail contacts, Facebook figured out a way around the restriction. In response, Google e-mailed tech reporters an unsolicited statement that said the company was “disappointed” in Facebook’s move.


All this posturing boils down to whether Facebook should allow users to export all their data from the social network. Facebook currently lets users export things like photos, but not the list of friends–and the corresponding contact information–that make up your social network. Google has made data portability a key portion of its manifesto, while Facebook isn’t sure that this is proper in social media, since a Facebook user hasn’t necessarily given their friends permission to take that data outside of the service.

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