Facebook has taken “credit” for planting stories around the web which bring into question Google’s privacy policies. The plot backfired however when the Google hired PR firm Burson-Marsteller tried to get a prominent blogger to post the negative information and that blogger posted the emails from the PR firm.
Chris Soghoian, the blogger who was approached by Burson posted the following email from the company:
“Google, as you know, has a well-known history of infringing on the privacy rights of America’s Internet users. Not a year has gone by since the founding of the company where it has not been the focus of front-page news detailing its zealous approach to gathering information -– in many cases private and identifiable information — about online users.”
The email furthers Facebook cause, describing Google’s services as the:
“Latest tool designed to scrape private data and build deeply personal dossiers on millions of users –- in a direct and flagrant violation of its agreement with the FTC.”
When speaking with The Daily Beast, Facebook representative Dan Lyons says the company hired Burson because:
“First, because it believes Google is doing some things in social networking that raise privacy concerns; second, and perhaps more important, because Facebook resents Google’s attempts to use Facebook data in its own social-networking service.”
Why the company decided to hire a PR Firm through back channels, rather than airing their grievances in the public forum as Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple and other tech firms have done over the years is still unknown.
On the other hand, Facebook has achieved a level of awareness over Google privacy issues that they probably wouldn’t have received with a simple company sponsored press release.[via The Daily Beast]