Google Accuses Facebook of Hostage-Taking

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) has received a lot of flak for its privacy rules, but Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), for one, thinks they can be looser. Google chief executive Larry Page has hit out at the social network for not allowing the search engine biggie to comb through its data. In an interview with CBS This Morning’s Charlie Rose, Page said they were still waiting on Facebook to take up their offer of reciprocal use of each others’ data.

Don’t Miss: Here are the Warning Signs that Facebook Zuckers Missed.

“I think it’s been unfortunate that Facebook has been pretty closed with their data,” Page said, “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.”

Page added that he thought the social network’s attitude was of holding its users “hostage.”

“From a user’s perspective you say, ‘Oh, it’s great. I’m, you know, I’m joining Facebook. I want my contacts.’ In Google, we said, ‘Fine, you know. You can get them from Google,’” he said.

He said Facebook had stopped his company from searching its data due to privacy concerns while allowing Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) to do so.

Google and Facebook had also argued over data sharing in 2009. The debate centers on whether Facebook is hoping to someday take Google on in the search engine field.

According to Searchblog’s John Battelle, Google thought Facebook’s reluctance to share was leading to its future products getting crippled. “The two companies realized they were dancing on the head of a pin,” Battelle writes. “Search = social, social = search. They couldn’t figure out a way to tease the two apart.”

Don’t Miss: What is Google Planning for Motorola?