Another Facebook data-exporting tool released

12:09:00 AM

Another Facebook data-exporting tool released
07/08/2011 | 11:14 PM

Just days since Facebook slammed the door on a contact-exporting extension for potential rival Google's Chrome browser, an open-source software has come out with its own tool for the job.

Open-Xchange said its tool uses the official APIs of networks to import and export data such as email addresses.

"The Cloud needs to be open – just as source code and data protocols needed to be open to create the Internet. With more and more data moving into and being created inside the cloud, this data needs to be owned by the creators, not the services," Open-Xchange CEO Rafael Laguna said in a blog post.

Laguna lauded Mohamed Mansour of Ottawa, who created a hack that allowed Google's Chrome beowser to export Friends from Facebook into Google's Gmail address book.

Data on Gmail's address book may eventually be reused for Google's upcoming social network Google+ - a potential rival to Facebook.

Facebook promptly blocked Mansour's tool - a move that Laguna called "dumb."

Laguna said his firm developed an extension to its Social OX feature.

He said the tool will use APIs from the social and business networks to create address books for each of them, then enhances this data with the contacts it can harvest from one's email accounts.

"At the end of the process the download of the newly merged super address list will start. Import to your liking, in Apple iCal, Gmail/G+, Facebook, Outlook, whatever you like. The data is also in the newly created 'Facebook' address book for more exporting or playing pleasure," he said.

Facebook block

Earlier, Mansour, the developer of the "Facebook Friend Exporter" app for Google's Chrome browser, lamented Facebook's block has forced him to work on a new version of his app.

"Facebook is trying so hard to not allow you to export your friends. They started to remove emails of your friends from your profile by today July 5th 2011. It will no longer work for many people," he said.

He said a new version with a different design is currently deploying, and will use a different approach.

The exporter tool aims to extract data from Facebook and export them to Google Contacts or to CSV format, Mansour said.

"You gave them (Facebook) your friends and allowed them to store that data, and you have right to take it back out! Facebook doesn't own my friends," he said in explaining his tool.

Tech site CNET said that many users of the Facebook Friend Exporter tool reported that it no longer worked, producing only names and the address of their Facebook pages, but not the e-mail addresses.

"It's become a cat-and-mouse game. Mansour is working to sidestep Facebook's obstacles," CNET said.

But CNET also noted the tool may clash with Section 3.2 of Facebook's terms of service, which state, "You will not collect users' content or information, or otherwise access Facebook, using automated means (such as harvesting bots, robots, spiders, or scrapers) without our permission." — Source: TJD, GMA News

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