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back to article Facebook beats Google's block

Facebook has found a workaround to Google's refusal to let new Facebookers easily upload their contact lists from Gmail to Zuckerberg's monster social network. Google said last week it would stop Facebook accessing the Gmail API unless Facebook provided similar access to Google's services. When you first sign up to Facebook it …

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Exporting it to a file and reimporting seems a better idea

Why would I want to tell Facebook what my email password is in the first place?

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Joke

Account deleted

Your account has been deleted as per Internal Facebook User Policy article 7b - Excessive User Intelligence.

Please excuse any inconvenience this may cause, but it's really your fault for having an IQ above 25.

The Facebook LUser Administration

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Flame

Damn straight.

And yet so many people are oblivous to the risks and willy nilly hand over their email account passwords to Facebook.

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Actually

The whole point of this API is that you don't hand over your password- it's all handled at the Google end. But don't let that stop your at-the-mouth foaming.

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@Alastair

I'm (hypothetically) entering my email password on a web form on Facebook's site. How do I know that is only going to Google's servers?

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@Wize

No you're not, it's a pop up window that loads a URL from Google. That's how you know- you know, by looking at things an examining them yourself rather than relying on hyperbole.

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@Alastair

Picture says a thousand words.

http://www.glowfoto.com/static_image/11-062324L/2564/jpg/11/2010/img4/glowfoto

Looks like a password entry box on Facebook.com to me.

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@Wize

Pictures do say a thousand words:

http://i.imgur.com/ilv7K.png

So it appears we have a stalemate... which one, out of our two screenshots, looks like it's using an official Google API, and which does not?

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@Alastair

Maybe which one you get depends on your browser. IE and Firefox both enter it in a Facebook window. I believe the majority of users have one of the two.

But, even though you have a popup window with Google.com in the address bar, can you ever be 100% sure its the correct site?

If you were on a random site and they popped up a box proclaiming to be from your bank with a convincing looking url, would you give them your bank details?

Of course not.

Banks recommend that you enter their web page address manually in your address bar rather than clicking links due to security. And the average email account probably has enough information to have half a stab at getting the user's bank details, I'd treat it the same.

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@Wize

"But, even though you have a popup window with Google.com in the address bar, can you ever be 100% sure its the correct site? If you were on a random site and they popped up a box proclaiming to be from your bank with a convincing looking url, would you give them your bank details?"

Obviously not. But I can tell the difference between a "convincing looking" and "real" URL. And come on, that's a ridiculous argument. That sort of tactic is used by scammers. Say what you want about Facebook, but they're not in the business of scamming people for their Gmail passwords. Not in any way worth trying when people who where to find you to sue you.

The Google URL is HTTPS enabled, which makes it *very* clear in both IE and Firefox (just checked: the behaviour is the same as my screenshot in both), as it includes the domain name with a big green background. You're clutching at straws here, but this debate has already gone on far longer than it ought. You're paranoid about Facebook- fine. I'm really not sure why you have an account.

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Another personal attack?

Lets see,

I'm supposed to be foaming at the mouth and relying on hyperbole. Now you are questioning why I should have a Facebook account?

Why the ad hominem attack?

Can you not discuss the topic without giving out abuse to people you do not agree with?

Can you explain why I, and others, have the username/password boxes as per my screenshot?

As for how secure your details with them are. Recently some Facebook app writers were caught selling of user details. Going back further, you'll find tales of some T-Mobile staff selling personal details of customers off without management's knowledge.

Do you really trust everyone in Facebook (and their selected partners) who have access to the whole database? It only takes one person getting a wad of cash dangled in front of them and your data will be as safe as a database burned to CD in the hands of a train riding government employee.

If you want to go trusting them with your passwords, thats up to you.

But there is no need to get derogatory about those who are not so trusting as you.

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Good on Facebook, Horrid Google Nazis!!!

Don't you just hate Google's Faux-techie openess? It basically started when they developed Android, and now a few silly people have been brainwashed into thinking that this mega-corporation is different from Apple and MS. Stupid deluded people...

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WTF?

Fb

Has my irony detector failed me?

Are you really suggesting that Facebook has even ever looked up the word "open" in the context you're discussing?

I'd hardly call Google to protectors of privacy, but I think their comments about Facebook being a blackhole for personal data was pretty founded.

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Their comments may be well founded...

but something about throwing stones and glass houses springs to mind.

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Hmm

I'm sure I read in the original story that this was an acceptable work-around which Google doesn't mind. The whole point was to stop *direct* access to your contacts by Facebook.

How is this news?

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FAIL

Ditto

I read the same thing.

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google knows about the workaround

google of course knows about the workaround.

google even mentioned this in their announcement of blocking facebook.

blocking facebook is about blocking someone, that does not want to share.

allowing people to export the data from google is about not doing evil and letting people use THEIR data.

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Stop

Eh?

That's not defeating the block at all! Facebook still can't access people's Google accounts to get their contact lists.

Guess what? I can download all my Facebook wall postings by looking at my wall and copy and pasting them into a text file, and pasting into an email. Look, Google's now got an interface to Facebook's wall feature!

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Go

BBC has the truth

Read the last line of the story on the BBC http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-11717448

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Paris Hilton

Agreed

When people have to stop and think about the activity they undertake, they might think twice about what they are doing. "Hang on, am actually giving what now to Facebook??"

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Huh. I'll have to look at it and I might want to try it.

Because my non-sock puppet FaceBook account does not use my GMail address.

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This post has been deleted by a moderator

Anonymous Coward

This is google's own brand of stupid.

Google, unable to get anybody else to allow users to transfer their data out of the death-grip of certain sites to other sites, decide to allow it unilaterally in the hope of getting other sites to allow it too.

After waiting a year and seeing that no one else was willing to do it for the users benefit they decide to apply a little pressure to a few key ass****s to see if they can shake things loose.

Now google are seen as the evil ones, and facebook are the good guys?

Obviously it's not all good intentions - google LIKES to get information, but at least google's approach has some benefits for users - Facebook? Well only for the bigZ

Google keep doing this to themselves. They really need some PR people with a clue!

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Good Solution

This looks like a good solution to me. No handing over passwords, auto-logging into other accounts, etc. It puts the users in control of their data.

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Anonymous Coward

Google can't block this.

For the simple reason that the data passes through the user's hands and it was his in the first place. Unless the EULA "fixed" that already. Oh wait, didn't they claim copyright on emails, or was that hotmail? I forget.

At any rate, it might be enough. It would probably be more prudent of facebook to allow reciprocal exporting (and re-importing at google's) though. But teh Zuck probably figures he's got enough people "liking" his service not to worry there. And of course he can always fall on his face and fix it then later, as so often happens with their privacy issues.

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