Facebook has banned the usage of Google Friend Connect within the Facebook social networking platform, a move which according to Facebook, is because of privacy concerns and not a competitive decision.
Now that Google has launched Friend Connect, we’ve had a chance to evaluate the technology. We’ve found that it redistributes user information from Facebook to other developers without users’ knowledge, which doesn’t respect the privacy standards our users have come to expect and is a violation of our Terms of Service.
Just as we’ve been forced to do for other applications that redistribute data in a way users might not expect or understand, we’ve had to suspend Friend Connect’s access to Facebook user information until it comes into compliance. We’ve reached out to Google several times about this issue, and hope to work with them to enable users to share their data exactly when and where they choose.
Let the war of the social api’s begin, as Google is stepping directly into Facebook territory, only to have Facebook make this announcement.
Google services have had their share of privacy concerns over the years, especially in the social sharing market, think Google Calendar, and when products are in beta.
But then again, so has Facebook.
Google has responded to the Facebook ban of Friend Connect, with a post on the Google Code blog discussing the issue.
We want to help you understand a bit more about how it works on the Friend Connect side with respect to users’ information.
People find the relationships they’ve built on social networks really valuable, and they want the option of bringing those friends with them elsewhere on the web. Google Friend Connect is designed to keep users fully in control of their information at all times. Users choose what social networks to link to their Friend Connect account. (They can just as easily unlink them.) We never handle passwords from other sites, we never store social graph data from other sites, and we never pass users’ social network IDs to Friend Connected sites or applications.
The only user information that we pass from a social networking site to third-party applications is the user’s public photo, and even that is under user control.
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