Yesterday Facebook released a clever way to continue to download Google user data, despite Google banning Facebook from using their APIs. It looks to me like they aren’t going to try to stop Facebook from using this more manual approach. Instead, for now, it’s being escalated only via words:
We’re 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.
That’s a nice swipe there in the beginning, about how they wish Facebook had spent time giving people a way to liberate their own Facebook data rather than building tools to end run around Google. That last bit though, about “people should be able to control the data they create” doesn’t quite hit the mark though in my opinion.
We’re talking about your Facebook friends list and their email addresses. You create your list of friends, of course, but you generally aren’t uploading email addresses to Facebook, your friends do. Still, I think there are excellent logic arguments for allowing users to download friends’ email addresses, too. More on that later.