Google isn’t going to share its data with just any company–not anymore, at least. The search giant, known for promoting the open web, is getting stern with its data, especially where it relates to Facebook, reports Reuters. Google is blocking data access to its Gmail and Android contacts lists to any company that refuses to give open access back to Google. In essence, the search company is no longer giving away its data like a charitable person; it expects a gift in return.
The move is a direct attack on Facebook, but there are no stats on how many other companies this block will affect. Until now, someone signing up for Facebook could instantly add Gmail contacts who happened to have a Facebook account to their friend list. This feature will be deactivated by Google.
“We have decided to change our approach slightly to reflect the fact that users often aren’t aware that once they have imported their contacts into sites like Facebook, they are effectively trapped,” Google said in a statement. “We will no longer allow websites to automate the import of users’ Google Contacts (via our API) unless they allow similar export to other sites.”
A bitter rivalry
Google has accused the social network of trapping user data, like contacts and posts. Though Google has given Facebook free access to its information, Zuckerberg and company have not reciprocated, instead opting to sign a huge search deal with Bing and limit Google’s search access to Facebook information.
“Google is trying to use the leverage that it has to get as much access to the Facebook social graph (network of friends and interests) that it can, so it can provide the best search function that it can. The more data Google has access to the better its search results are going to be,” said Wedbush Securities analyst Lou Kerner.
The battle between Facebook and Google is only getting worse. Facebook continues to launch services like Places that compete with Google products. Google, for its part, is not innocent either. The company is in the advanced stages of creating its own social network that competes with Facebook.