Google escalates Facebook war of words

Google's dig at Facebook
Google's dig at Facebook

The war of words between Facebook and Google is raging on, with the search giant now urging people to think twice before exporting their contents into the social networking behemoth.

The once-amicable relationship between the two has turned decidedly frosty of late – with Google upset that it allowed Facebook to comb through its Google Contacts data to find friends for new sign ups for the social network, but that the share was not reciprocated.

That saw Google change its terms and conditions so that it could stop Facebook doing just this, and this in turn prompted Facebook to use a workaround.


However, now Google is redirecting people using this workaround to a page that questions Facebook's lack of openness.

"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?" reads the contacts export confirm webpage.

"Here's the not-so-fine print. You have been directed to this page from a site 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.

"Of course, you are always free to download your contacts using the export feature in Google Contacts.

"This public service announcement is brought to you on behalf of your friends in Google Contacts."

As it happens, Facebook unleashes its webmail service next week – a direct competitor to Gmail, so don't expect the two former friends to play nicely in the sandpit for some time to come.

Patrick Goss

Patrick Goss is the ex-Editor in Chief of TechRadar. Patrick was a passionate and experienced journalist, and he has been lucky enough to work on some of the finest online properties on the planet, building audiences everywhere and establishing himself at the forefront of digital content.  After a long stint as the boss at TechRadar, Patrick has now moved on to a role with Apple, where he is the Managing Editor for the App Store in the UK.