Facebook blocking a second contact export tool!

| July 14, 2011

Open-Xchange is tool for giving people a chance to renovate their Facebook contact list. The tool has been taken as a victim, on Google+, to Facebook’s cancellation of its license. Open-Xchange has just launched a tool that worked for the Social OX technology of the company that is helping out people to accumulate a list of their Facebook friends. It used connections to a combination of services such as LinkedIn and e-mail accounts to create a single magic address book.

The tool did not in fact copy e-mail addresses from Facebook instead copied only first and last names then matched these names to further e-mail records in the user’s accounts. However Facebook halted the API -application programming interface- key that the software was using to read the names.

Open-Xchange Chief Executive Rafael Laguna said about Facebook giving two reasons for the move and underscored the seriousness of its decision with a warning about the repercussions:


  • You cannot use a user’s friend list outside of your application, even if a user consents to such use, but you can use connections between users who have both connected to your application. (FPP II.11)
  • A user’s friends’ data can only be used in the context of the user’s experience on your application. (FPP II.4)

Facebook told CNET its proceedings are a feature of securing Facebook users.

According to the company anyhow;

—–“The people who use Facebook expect us to protect the information they share with us and prevent phishing, malware and scraping whenever possible. We are always reviewing and revising our user protections, and when we come across Platform integrations which violate our terms, we respond quickly”

Laguna has been not so agreed with Facebook’s conclusion and he wrote to Facebook;

–We are not aware of violating anything. We are using your API to extract the last name and first name fields. We are not parsing or scraping the e-mail address. Same data is available at your site under “Account->Account Settings->Download Your Information” in the resulting friends.html file.–

Well No Wonder since Facebook has previously obstructed the use of a Chrome extension also by programmer Mohamed Mansour that would export not only names but also e-mail addresses, phone numbers, birthdays, info and more.

The issue regarding the possession of the address-book data in Facebook had been a burning one the preceding year when Google and Facebook got into an argument about contact-data sharing. Although that Google lastly gets what it looks like to be a feasible challenger to Facebook the issue is still a truly burning one.

Facebook Data Issues

There have also been some issues regarding the Facebook data being semantic. Since it can not be stopped the copying of each e-mail address manually from Facebook, the trouble becomes a real one when such withdrawal info is automated.  Yahoo! Has had been considered to be the wired email account service for the same reason. To create helpful of it in Google+; transfer them to Google by exporting a CSV spreadsheet. Gmail lets you import a CSV file by clicking Contacts, then the More actions button, then the Import menu item. Certainly you can use the CSV file somewhere else as well.

Laguna asked about Yahoo how could that extract the data, if not others are allowed to;

–“You must have some kind of arrangement with Yahoo, which even has an import capability of not only the names but also the Facebook e-mail addresses? How can Yahoo do it without violating points 1 and 2 above?”–

Facebook is not going to mention about the Yahoo export tool anyway.


Category: Facebook, Google, Yahoo

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