Facebook and Google: PR Campaign Wasn’t About Privacy (Duh)
So we’ve learned that Facebook contracted with a prominent PR firm to pitch anti-Google stories to the media. OMG. Their defense centered around the privacy issues with a Google service, Social Circles, which apparently uses Facebook data.
I haven’t done an in-depth study of Google Social Circles, so I don’t feel qualified to judge how much privacy it does or doesn’t violate. But although this is the duh statement of the century, I still feel the need to point out that this scandal, it’s not about privacy. Of course it’s about competition and control of information.
Facebook and Google have been clashing over what information they allow each other’s services for quite some time now. Facebook wants to keep a walled garden, where it controls your information and profits from it. Google wants to open up access to information (see Google Books). You can’t really get two more opposite philosophies. And of course Google is making a big push into Facebook’s social territory.
The Facebook-Google battle is an epic one that will surely be fodder for a movie someday. And as many have pointed out, this is only the beginning. In my opinion, Facebook is attempting to become the next web. That’s a high-stakes game, and the company may play some dirty tricks to get there.
Hell, it already has. Google “Facebook privacy issues,” and you get almost 62 million results. Facebook is more an expert in what not to do regarding privacy than what to do.
What was it I said about Facebook being a slightly abusive best friend I just can’t quit?
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