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Larry Page: It’s “Unfortunate” That Facebook Keeps Data Closed & Holds Users Hostage
Google’s CEO Larry Page made an apperance on Charlie Rose yesterday, and he didn’t have many nice things to say about Facebook. Rose asked Page about Facebook’s competition in search which led to an exchange about Facebook’s semi-closed policy on contact information.
Page was quick to point out that Facebook users are not aware that they are inputting information in that they can’t take out. Additionally, Page went on to say that this policy was unfortunate and that Facebook may be forced to share this in the near future.
In regards to working with Facebook? The Google CEO stated:
“We’ll only participate with people who have reciprocity .. and we’re still waiting…”
When Rose asked if Facebook will share this data in the future Page said that he doesn’t understand why you “have to hold your users hostage.” He also debunked that fact that the reason was not due to privacy as Facebook does share data with Yahoo.
For the full interview see Charlie Rose.
Postscript: Here’s the full transcription of the exchange above.
Rose: Are you worried or not worried about Facebook’s competition in search?
Page: It’s something we take seriously, like people’s social media. I think it’s unfortunate that Facebook has been pretty closed with their data. And I think we would certainly — you know, we’re in the business of searching data. We don’t generally turn it down when it’s offered to us. In general, I think we like to see content on the internet being made more open and so on.
You know, we had an issue with them over contacts where they … from a user’s perspective, you say, ‘Oh, it’s great. I’m joining Facebook. I want my contacts.’ And 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.’ And we said, users don’t understand what they’re doing. They’re putting data in, and they don’t understand they can’t take it out. So we said we’ll only participate with people that have reciprocity. And we’re still waiting.
For them to offer reciprocity.
Do you think they might in the future?
I mean, I hope so. I imagine they’ll be forced to eventually if they don’t choose to. But I think the idea that you’d hold your users hostage, and they have some reasons for it that don’t make sense, but they hold their users’ data —
What are their reasons?
They claim it’s a privacy issue, but it’s not, really. Because they do it with Yahoo. They just don’t do it with us.
But I think you don’t want to be holding your users hostage, and we’ve really — we felt that we want there to be a competitive market. We want other companies to be able to do things, so we think it’s important that you, as users of Google, can take your data. You can take it if you need to, or take it somewhere else.