back to article Zuckerberg admits fallibility over Gmail block

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg isn't sure that Facebook is "100 per cent right" in preventing Google's Gmail and other third-party apps from automatically importing email addresses from the social-networking service. He says that the company is still weighing the possibilities — and that it believes in openness. "We're …


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  1. JaitcH

    Facebook "believes in openness"

    It sure does with the key to that 'openness' being money. He'd sell almost anything.

    FB is also 'open' because their security is so lax. And who 'owns' those addresses that FB uses to send endless invitations to join FB? As I've previously stated, I have acquaintances, who must also be idiots, who have donated MY addresses (I own the physical servers) that are in MY web site registrations.

    How do we get these addresses deleted from FB?

    Then there are the other web sites, such as the Daily Beast, who use some form of FB logon to use TDB. Can't people understand there are many who don't want anything to do with FB? Not only blocking FB make that web site unviewable but it makes all those other, associated, web sites impossible to log into.

    I am amazed at the amount of advertising FB does. Living in a country where FB is blocked, one benefit are acres (or hectares) of white space that can be seen.

    People should understand that Zuckerberg wouldn't recognise a moral if it it hit him in the face. Likewise, FB, being created as a metaphor for Zuckerberg, is no different. Zuckerberg has only one interest - making M-O-N-E-Y and if, to do that, he has to sell your privacy, he will.

  2. jai

    do not want

    the irony is that, if it becomes possible for one of my friends to import the email i have on FB into their Gmail/Hotmail etc etc then i'll be switching my registered FB email to my gmail account email that i never look at and just collects spam. i don't know my 'friends' on Facebook well enough to trust them with a real email address.

    1. Adam Foxton

      If you don't know them well enough for that

      why the hell are you friends with them?!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I know my friends well enough.

      I sure as fuck wouldn't trust them with my privacy.

  3. Tony Paulazzo

    Space left intentionally blank

    >i don't know my 'friends' on Facebook well enough to trust them with a real email address<

    Wow, in the 21st century, friend no longer means what it used to mean, reality has become elastic and facebook, google et al are trying to own our virtual souls. This makes me sad.

    However, pizza makes me happy so balance is restored.

  4. saintneko

    load of bollocks

    Facebook, by default, allows all your friends to share all of your information with 3rd parties (apps and websites) unless and until you specifically block that. On a very granular basis. Whenever they add a new feature, you're automatically opted in. This is nothing more than a smokescreen to obscure the real issues, whether you or they own the information you've posted to their servers.

    They tout facebook connect.... which is an implementation of OpenID, conceived of and written by the open source community, not Facebook. And all it does is make my user information appear to me on websites that aren't facebook, whether or not I've authorized those websites to access my FB profile. Well, hopefully the information only appears to me and isn't sent to the website for whatever purposes.

  5. Paul E

    may not own but....

    On facebook if you look at a friends info page you will see their email address if they share it with you. What exactly is the difference between being able to go through these with a pen and paper and facebook providing a way of exporting them? If the email addresses were not visible in FB they might have a point but as they are I can see no reason why they can't allow export of those they have been given permission by the users to share with you.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can't we have a new word?

    For "friends" in Facebook... Maybe "facepages"?

    1. mccp

      New word not needed...

      For at least 50% of Facebook 'friends' the existing English word 'stranger' would probably be more appropriate.

    2. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

      Who does own ...

      Zuckerberg has it all arse-about-face, it shouldn't be an issue of what a receiver 'owns' but an issue of what the giver has 'permitted'.

      That a giver hands over an email address which you can manually copy but not automatically copy is farcical nonsense. When someone hands over an email address they lose control over how it's ultimately used and have to recognise that, the mechanics of how it gets from one place to another are largely irrelevant in this.

      If people don't want their email addresses to propagate then don't pass them on, as simple as that. If it's that FB users don't have full and granular control over who gets to see their email addresses then that's the fundamental issue -- I wouldn't know, I don't use FB.

      1. Paul 135
        Thumb Up


        hear hear. Facebook does indeed already have granular control over who has permission to see your email address.

        On this particular issue about exporting of email addresses privacy is a red herring (makes a change!). The real issue is about Facebook's policy of enforcing user lock-in.

    3. ~mico

      An old word, rather....

      Facepalms seems more appropriate

    4. Anonymous Coward

      Old words work perfectly well

      We don't need new terms such as Face-tards when old ones such as narcissists works perfectly well.

    5. Steven Knox Silver badge


      The obvious term would be "Face-friends". And of course, their profile pics would be "Friend-faces".

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    So how does this fit in with various smartphones that 'integrate' with Facebook and will keep phone numbers updated for those contacts that have put numbers on Facebook?

  8. Tim Almond

    "Believes in Openness"?

    That's why they're about the only social network that hasn't joined in with OpenSocial?

  9. Tom 7 Silver badge

    What a ridiculous idea

    allowing people access and control of their own personal data? How are people meant to make money without providing a real service if they cant keep you locked in!

    Whatever next? Banks providing you with an XML file of your transactions so you can update your accounts 'just like that', and transfer to another bank with ease?

    Things like that have been available in computing for 30 years to my knowledge but where would we be without large parasitic companies holding computing back (or moving it into the dark ages) and making large wedges of cash so they can shine out as symbols of progress.

    Thank god for software patents - soon put an end to all this nonsense!

  10. Avatar of They Silver badge


    "preventing exports because users didn't really "own" the email addresses of their Facebook "friends"."

    Since when did facebook really care about someone owning anything. Facebook freely take everything that isn't their's and claims ownership. He would happily sell his own mum in the interests of openness.

    The lies coming from that soporific, vacuous excuse for a human being get worse with each passing week.

    Zuckerberg really is a ***kin' idiot.

  11. Mitch Kent
    Big Brother

    "Allow automatic export of this address?"

    What is wrong with a simple check box next to the email field when you input it, default to unchecked, that says you allow the automatic export of your email address?

    1. Paul 135


      A better solution already exists - users can already control who has permission to see their email addresses.

      There is absolutely no difference in terms of privacy between being able to see an email address n a text field and being able to batch export such information

  12. Justin Clements

    Solution is very simple

    All Facebook have to do is give people the option of allowing their email address to be exported by a "friend". Then set the default option for everybody to "deny" the export of your email address.

    And then open up an export function for Google.

    Job done.

  13. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    "our value system errs very strong"

    Let me stop you there and point out your mistake.

    What you wanted to say is:

    "Our value system errs very strongly."

    No need for thanks...

  14. Arctic fox

    I would sooner gnaw my own leg off than........

    ...........have anything to do with Facebook. However, as we know, information is power and power equals money. The contretemps between Google and Facebook is about money, in one form or another - regardless of how either of them dress it up. FB has something Google wants. Google can either pony up (in one form or another) or shut up, that's the way it works. If the shoe in this instance were on the other foot it would work exactly the same way in the opposite direction. The nausea level when leading commercial players start talking about openness goes off the top end of my personal scale at any rate.

  15. Oninoshiko
    Paris Hilton


    so... if your givin an email address via FB you dont own it, but if you are given an email address via gmail you do? what?

    Apperently he thinks you should only be able to share information you "own" (whatever that means), but as my grandfather used to say "what's good for the goose is good for the gander." Apperently that isn't what Mr. Zuckerburg thinks, he takes his advice from "Animal Farm": "All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others."

  16. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    We want control

    Oh, so now Zucky is suddenly all about respecting his users' wishes, is he ?

    I call bollocks on that statement. It is pure PR pandering and nothing more.

    If Zucky really respected his users's wishes, he wouldn't be resetting their privacy settings to the least favorable option every time he rolled out an "update".

    You see, Mr. Bitch, it's all about credibility.

    And you've got none.

  17. Leeroy Bronze badge

    Facebook is fine

    Just use a fake name an email address that you dont care about and never enter any true personal information. Spam Friend requests like there is no tomorrow and you can blend into the background using FB for more useful purposes (like spying / stalking people, collecting email addresses and building a nice "marketing list" etc).

    I dont see what the harm is ? if you give your info away then it will get used.

  18. Michael Chester

    Emails are bad, but numbers are fine?

    Anyone with an android phone (and presumably others), can get the facebook app. An undocumented feature of this is the "facebook phonebook", which will give you the phone numbers of all your facebook friends who have theirs up on their profile.

    Personally, I'd much rather someone had my (easily filterable) e-mail, than my phone number (my e-mail is visible friends only, my number isn't on there at all).

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    'But you must understand: I believe in OPENNESS'

    Yeah Zuckerburg - I'll remember all your sinister corporate mind games, starting with the "personal security settings" of face book that you and your cash grabbing cronies rigged to suit yourselves - at everyone else's expense.

    Stupidity, greed and arrogance - it's a fast greasy, easy, sleazy, slippery sliding ride up - but it's a rough ride down.

    Just ask the people who run Ebay.

  20. Anonymous Coward

    Well, you have to admit it's not the same

    Everybody joins Facebook to pimp themselves to the whole world so Zucky gets away with dodgy privacy settings but when people joined Gmail they thought they were signing up for e-mail, where the word "mail" has centuries-old confidentiality connotations, so the Gooplicants didn't get away with Buzz.

    Google basically double-crossed thousands or millions of people while Zucky... well everybody already knows he has the morals of a used-car salesman, so no surprises there.

    1. Tom 13

      Agreed, and I have a FB account.

      I could see a setting which will allow you to share your email account information for export if you choose.

      But if I see too much dangerous spam showing up as a result of Zuckerberg's latest moves, FB accounts are toast.

  21. Rex Alfie Lee

    Bullcrap Zuckerberg...

    ...fooling only those that believe everything they read, Master Zuckers is an outright BS artiste. He gets into M$s paws & does a spin round at Google & then finds some excuse to having cut Google off when it was him who actually started it. Google comes back & says, "You want ours, you offer up yours or just FO". Zuckers tries the pity-card, with, "Whoops, I dropped it in a bit late didn't I?"

    Liar, liar, pants on fire...

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