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Google data-sharing gets authentication option

Programmers now can use the OAuth standard to tap into information through Google's data-sharing interface. Also, Google Data comes to Google Finance.

Google now supports the open OAuth standard for sharing data through its Google Data interface, a move that could make it easier to tap into information stored at Google property.

Google headquarters in Mountain View, Calif.
Google headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. Stephen Shankland/CNET

The Google Data API (application programming interface)--GData for short--provides a conduit whereby other Web sites can slurp out data stored at Google. For personal information, such as photos at Picasa or contacts at Gmail, access to that information requires authentication. OAuth provides a standard way to perform that authentication, which means programmers at least theoretically should have an easier time writing code.

Google announced the OAuth support Thursday on its Data API blog.

Also Thursday, Google announced that Google Finance is now supported in the Google Data API. That means data could be retrieved to build, for example, a gadget with a live chart showing changing portfolio value.

And since the API permits two-way communications, it also means an outside service could update a user's information at Google Finance, for example with recent stock trades.