Google gets in hot water over user privacy on a pretty regular basis, but it’s nothing to the kind of scrutiny that Facebook gets over its 900 million users. To their credit, Google has been fairly straightforward, even allowing those who are dissatisfied to pack up and leave after downloading all the relevant files. Facebook… doesn’t. In a recent interview with Charlie Rose, Google CEO Larry Page expressed the sentiment that Facebook could be doing more to be open about how is uses the data it collects.
From a user’s perspective, you say … I’m joining Facebook. I want my contacts. In Google, we said, fine. You can get them from Google. And the issue we had is that then Facebook said, no, Google, you can’t do the reverse.
But undoubtedly what Page is referring to is Facebook’s lack of interoperability with Gmail, an issue that starts and ends with Facebook. Months ago the social network decided to disable its ability to connect users with members of their Gmail contact list, though the answer given was less than satisfactory. Perhaps now that Google is in the social networking business with Google+, we have out answer.