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November 10, 2010

Google Challenges Facebook Over User Data

Google has announced it will no longer let other web services automatically import its users’ email contact data for their own purposes.

The search giant dropped the bombshell in a statement released to TechCrunch last Friday, claiming it is their way of protecting its users’ ability to retain control of their personal data on the Internet. They have also amended the Terms of Service for their Contacts API to reflect the change.

In the statement, Google took a swipe at Facebook, challenging what it calls the social network’s *Data Dead End*. It accused Facebook of leveraging Google contact data, without allowing for the reverse flow of Facebook user information.

With more than 500 million users, Facebook uses email services like Google’s Gmail to help new users search for friends already on the social network. Users are given the option to import their Gmail contact list directly into Facebook for the purpose of networking and *friending*.

Google believes the information should flow both ways and is not going to allow third party services access to their data unless reciprocal rights are granted.