Friday, July 10, 2009

Power.com: Give me your Facebook data!

TechCrunch is reporting that Power.com is suing Facebook over their lack of data portability. Power.com is a service which allows you to aggregate your various social networks into a single location, but Facebook's data, as indicated in their Terms of Service, is still off-limits to them. Disregarding the restrictions, Power.com tried using the Facebook API and screen-scraping to get their data until being sued earlier in the year by Facebook.

This is exactly what I've been working on (with a graduate student at ODU) for the last few months. But I'm doing this to preserve the data, not necessarily to aggregate it along with other social networks. However, there's no reason why a preserved Facebook account could not be uploaded into another service.

My guess is my approach won't be looked at kindly by Facebook, but they'll probably leave me alone since I'm only providing a service for individuals to archive their account, and I'm not aggregating the data to my own server.