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Google Strips Facebook Friends from Android Contacts

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Feb 23, 2011, 12:06 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

In conjunction with the release of Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread for the Nexus S, Google has decided to enforce a policy it has in place regarding data portability. To-date, Android users who download and install the Facebook application will see their Facebook contacts integrated seamlessly with their Google Contacts on their device. This will no longer be the case on the Nexus S, which will maintain two separate contact databases — one for Google, one for Facebook. Google argues that because Facebook contact data isn't portable (meaning Facebook doesn't allow the data to be exported from Facebook to other devices/services), placing Facebook contact data on Android handsets was misleading to customers. By enforcing this policy, Google believes it is making it clearer what contacts are on the device, versus which are stored by third-party services in the cloud. In a statement, Google said, "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." For now, this change applies only to the Nexus S, which Google calls a "lead device."

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