Facebook Contacts Removed from Nexus S in Google Fight

Tech toys and baby boys, it surprises me the lengths some of these people will go to just to prove a point, for example apparently the Google guys are in some conflict with Facebook over user contact data, and thus Google has thrown their toys out of the pram to get at Facebook over data portability.

According to an article over on Venture Beat, and by way of Tech Crunch, the latest update to the Android device the Google Nexus S removes the ability for owners to actually see their Facebbook contacts in the Android address book.

Apparently a Google spokesperson took time to remove the soother from their mouth to comment…” We believe it is very important that users are able to control their data. So in the over-the-air update for Nexus S, we have a small change to how Facebook contacts appear on the device. For Nexus S users who downloaded the Facebook app from Android Market, Facebook contacts will no longer appear to be integrated with the Android Contacts app. Since Facebook contacts cannot be exported from the device, the appearance of integration created a false sense of data portability.

Facebook contact data will continue to appear within the Facebook app. Like all developers on Android, Facebook is free to use the Android contacts API to truly integrate contacts on the device, which would allow users to have more control over their data. We are removing the special-case handling of Facebook contacts on Nexus S and future lead devices. We continue to believe that reciprocity (the expectation that if information can be imported into a service it should be able to be exported) is an important step toward creating a world of true data liberation – and encourage other websites and app developers to allow users to export their contacts as well.”

Apparently though Nexus S users will still be able to get to the info via the Facebook app but for now anyway Facebook contacts will not show up in the users lists. Currently the removal of Facebook contacts by Google is confined to the Nexus S, but just how far will this fight go?

Do you feel Google is being somewhat of a baby by removing Facebook contacts from the Nexus S, do you think Google will also do the same with other Android devices before this spat is settled?

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