Hypocritical Facebook scores PR own-goal with sleazy attack on Google privacy

Graham Cluley
@gcluley

Facebook has been left red-faced after having to admit that it hired a PR agency to plant negative stories with the press about privacy concerns on Google.

The irony is, of course, that Facebook is hardly a shining example of how an online firm should protect its users’ privacy.

Here’s what happened:

* Facebook secretly hired giant public relations firm Burson-Marsteller to seed stories in the media about privacy concerns with Google Social Search.

The Social Search feature of Google scours the web for publicly available information about you from sites such as Twitter, Yelp, Picasa, and FriendFeed, and displays it in the search results of your online friends.

* Facebook’s plan backfired badly when Burson-Marsteller approached former FTC investigator and blogger Christopher Soghoian…

Read more in my article on the Naked Security website.

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of computer security, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley, or drop him an email.

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