Facebook Leaves Google Friend Connect

While originally announced as a partner with Google Friend Conenct, Facebook has decided to leave the team. It appeared as though Google and Facebook were going to work together but it now appears that Facebook is smarter than that. Working together means playing by Google’s rules and Facebook isn’t really open to that. Charlie Cheever has posted about the change in decision:

We’re excited that our industry partners are taking greater steps toward openness and enabling users to share their information around the web. We hope, though, that we can collectively find a model that allows users to share data while protecting the privacy of our users’ data and ensuring that the user is always in control.

In the past, when we found applications passing user data to another party (for instance, to ad networks for the purpose of targeting), we suspended those applications and worked with those developers to ensure they respect user privacy. Now that Google has launched Friend Connect, we’ve had a chance to evaluate the technology. We’ve found that it redistributes user information from Facebook to other developers without users’ knowledge, which doesn’t respect the privacy standards our users have come to expect and is a violation of our Terms of Service.

It appears as though Facebook got cold feet and is blaming it on Google’s lack of respect for privacy. While they can be part of a broader movement, Facebook will not be part of Google’s Friend Connect as Google tried to initially imply in their press releases regarding their new service.