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Facebook Cuts Google's 'Friend Connect' Out of API Program


Everyone loves a cockfight

Facebook has banned Google's Friend Connect from its API program, reports TechCrunch.

The ban occurred mere days after the near-simultaneous launches of Facebook Connect and Google's Friend Connect. Both services enable users to sync profile information across all social networks.

Facebook Chief Privacy Officer Chris Kelly told TechCrunch that the ban is a privacy issue, not a corporate beef. He said Google "has inserted itself as a middleman" in the data-sharing process; and once Facebook users grant Friend Connect permission to share data, they have no way to revoke it.

"With Google in the middle, Facebook has no way to stop the flow of data to these third parties," TechCrunch wrote as a synopsis to Kelly's explanation.

In defense, Google’s Director of Engineering David Glazer argued Friend Connect users have the option to "unlink" sites as they see fit.

Regardless of motivation, the two companies have a colorful history of discord.

When Google launched OpenSocial — an across-the-board social networking effort — late last year, it invited all rival social networks, including MySpace, to join, and pointedly failed to extend an invitation to Facebook.

At one time it also used private Facebook data to augment its AdWords platform, violating Facebook's terms of service.

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