Facebook Blocks Use Of Friend Extraction Application

Nothing should be more important to internet users than their data. After all, what you put onto websites such as Facebook is personal information which is about you and your friends, and it should belong to you. It is your data after all. We’ve seen companies try to claim your data as their own, and every day it seems that there’s another new scam going around Facebook trying to get a hold of your data via scamming attempts.

When a new service such as Google+ comes out, surely you want to simply port over your friends and personal information from other sites like Facebook. After all, it would be a lot easier to just download one file here, and upload it there instead of manually entering all of your information and add each friend individually for every new service that comes out. However, according to an article over on CNET by Stephen Shankland, Facebook has been blocking an application designed to do just that!

Mohamed Mansour is the developer of a Chrome extension called the Facebook Friend Exporter which is designed to automatically extract their contacts birthdays, phone numbers and e-mail addresses into Gmail or a text file. This data can then be put into other services such as the new Google+ service in order for people to more easily rebuild their network of friends.

However, Facebook doesn’t want people pulling their data off of Facebook. Many people have reported problems with the extraction tool, finding that the only information it could gather were names and addresses and this is apparently due to Facebook putting roadblocks in the way of this tool working as intended. For example they were storing addresses as graphics rather than text, meaning that the program would be unable to read the data.

However, this hasn’t stopped Mansour who has vowed to continue updating his program in order to win the battle for people’s data. On his Google+ page Mansour says that a new version is on the way. He comments that “this proves Facebook owns every users data on Facebook. You don’t own anything! If I were you I would riot this to the media outlets again!”

So this looks as if it’s going to turn into a cat and mouse game, with Mansour continually updating his application, and Facebook blocking every single way he manages to get through. Just like with Jailbreaking devices, the game will inevitably continue until either side gives up the fight. Meanwhile, this leaves us as users asking the question, do we really own our Facebook data?

Are you going to keep using Facebook after finding out that they keep such a strong hold on your data? Will this convince you to drop it after Google+ comes out of beta? Let us know in the comments below.