It has finally come to light who was behind the smear campaign against Google. Can you guess who it was?
It turns out that the PR firm hired to release stories laying into the alleged Google user information problems was working on behalf of Facebook.
The PR firm is called Burson-Marsteller and the details of their dirty tricks campaign were blown wide open when they approached blogger Chris Soghoian and he released details of the email exchange we had carried out with them.
The campaign was based on the Google Social Circles service and until the identity of the offending party had been revealed figures have been pointed at many of the rival internet firms.
Once the truth was discovered the people at Facebook came out and confirmed that they have taken on the services of the PR firm to raise the profile of issues which could cause privacy concerns but they denied it being name blackening exercise.
The official Facebook statement is that they wanted “third parties to verify that people did not approve of the collection and use of information from their accounts on Facebook…..for inclusion in Google Social Circles”.
Facebook bosses are obviously upset at their user’s details being used in an unauthorised way and this issue could rumble on for a bit yet.
Who do you think has come out of this situation looking worse; Google for using information they shouldn’t have done or Facebook for engaging in dirty tricks in exposing this to the world?