Google exporting contacts to Facebook is a trap

first_imgGoogle and Facebook are not the best of friends at the moment. Google blocked Facebook from exporting Gmail contacts to its user’s accounts, but then Facebook worked around the block and carried on using it.Google’s response has not been to find a new way to block access and has instead taken the higher ground. It believes users should have the right to export their data so will continue to offer it as a service.However, a new warning has appeared for users attempting to export contacts to Facebook. It informs users that Facebook will trap their data with no way to get it back out. Here’s the main section of the warning: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?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. Google then goes on to offer the user the option of making a complaint about data protectionism or cancelling the action.See the full warning message at the Gmail trap my contacts now pageMatthew’s OpinionGoogle is doing the right thing by issuing a warning here. If Facebook does not allow the export of contacts data then any you add or update after the import will be trapped. The only way to get them out is to do it manually, which could be very tedious depending on how many contacts you have.One potential workaround for this is the new “Download your data” feature Facebook introduced at the beginning of October. It allows any Facebook user to download their entire account to a hard drive with the data stored in a HTML archive. Could the contacts be accessed from within that archive? Could Google actually write a converter to start using this data if a user wishes to export to Gmail from Facebook?The best solution to this problem would obviously be Facebook allowing an export to other services.last_img