TechCrunch reports Google has intentionally dropped the phonebook data sync from Facebook. The reason Google cites is because Facebook contacts “cannot be exported from the device” and thus do not allow users to “control their data” as freely as Google would like.
This topic has been going on for months, starting back in November when Facebook removed the ability to export email addresses to some third-party applications. Google responded by warning Google users to not export their contracts to Facebook. The Google & Facebook conflict is nothing new, especially with Bing & Facebook’s special partnership that Google can have no part of.
Google’s recent statement on why they dropped the Nexus S sync to Facebook was:
“We believe it is very important that users are able to control their data. So in the over-the-air update for Nexus S, we have a small change to how Facebook contacts appear on the device. For Nexus S users who downloaded the Facebook app from Android Market, Facebook contacts will no longer appear to be integrated with the Android Contacts app. Since Facebook contacts cannot be exported from the device, the appearance of integration created a false sense of data portability. Facebook contact data will continue to appear within the Facebook app. Like all developers on Android, Facebook is free to use the Android contacts API to truly integrate contacts on the device, which would allow users to have more control over their data. We are removing the special-case handling of Facebook contacts on Nexus S and future lead devices. We continue to believe that reciprocity (the expectation that if information can be imported into a service it should be able to be exported) is an important step toward creating a world of true data liberation — and encourage other websites and app developers to allow users to export their contacts as well.”
Will this impact other Android phones? Possibly yes, in the future – as the other devices gain access to the latest Android OS.
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