Mike Vernal, who works “on engineering team for Facebook Platform”, seems to have said the latest Facebook stance regarding the heating Facebook / Google spat over Google’s recent decision to revise their terms for access of third-parties through their Contact API.
“Openness doesn’t mean being open when its[sic] convenient for you,” Vernal said in a comment to a blog from Tech Crunch.
Vernal also said that they “strongly hope that Google turns back on their API and doesn’t come up with yet another excuse to prevent their users from leaving Google products to use ones they like better instead.”
The Facebook engineer also said in his comment that Facebook’s “policy has been consistent… A person has no more right to mass export all of her friends’ private email addresses than she does to mass export all of her friends’ private photo albums.”
To clarify their stance, he said that, “Email is different from social networking because in an email application, each person maintains and owns their own address book, whereas in a social network your friends maintain their information and you just maintain a list of friends. Because of this, we think it makes sense for email applications to export email addresses and for social networks to export friend lists.”
A report from The Register said that when they “asked Facebook to officially comment on the situation, a company spokesperson pointed us to Vernal’s post.”
What Google wants is for Facebook to reciprocate Google’s openness when it comes to being able to export contacts through their open API.
Since Facebook does not allow exporting of emails but benefit from importing emails from services like Gmail, Google effectively told Facebook that the search giant would have none of it by revising their Contact API terms.
The revision of Google’s Contact API terms effectively cut-off Facebook’s access to importing contact data from Gmail until Facebook posted a workaround for the blockage.
A press release from Google said that they were “disappointed that Facebook didn’t invest their time in making it possible for their users to get their contacts out of Facebook. As passionate believers that people should be able to control the data they create, we will continue to allow our users to export their Google contacts.”