Tension between rivals rises as Facebook gets caught for smear campaigning Google

by Knowlton Thomas

Akin to how Google was playing a little dirty trying to uncover similarities between its search engine and Microsoft's bing, Facebook has confessed to mud-slapping Google's Social Circle.

A PR firm called Burson-Marsteller prodded Chris Soghoian to write a scathing review of Social Circle, Google's service that allows Gmail users to access info from their friends of friends.

Quoth Engadget:

In a pitch to journalists, Burson described the tool in borderline apocalyptic terms:

"The American people must be made aware of the now immediate intrusions into their deeply personal lives Google is cataloging and broadcasting every minute of every day-without their permission."

Soghoian thought that Burson's representatives were "making a mountain out of a molehill," so he decided to prod them about which company they might be working for. When Burson refused to spill the beans, Soghoian went public and published all of the e-mails sent between him and the firm.

Quickly, Facebook came clean through a spokesman, who stated that Facebook genuinely believes Google is violating consumer privacy - and went so far as to say that the social network suspects its search engine rival "may be improperly using data they have scraped about Facebook users."

Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful. As a first step to fulfilling that mission, Google's founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin developed a new approach to online search that took root in a Stanford University dorm room and quickly spread to information seekers around the globe. Google is now widely recognized as the world's... more

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Facebook's mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. Millions of people use Facebook everyday to keep up with friends, upload an unlimited number of photos, share links and videos, and learn more about the people they meet. more

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Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton is the managing editor of Techvibes and author of Tempest Bound. Based in Vancouver, Knowlton has been published in national publications and has also appeared on television and radio. Previously he was an editor for New Westminster weekly The Other Press and served on its board of directors. When not working, Knowlton enjoys hiking, tennis, and martial arts. more

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