Posted by pratyushkp
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:
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 offering him the story, but refusing to reveal who its client was. An unimpressed Soghoian published the email exchange.
* Facebook confirmed it had hired PR firm Burson-Marsteller to promote the company’s position against Google’s Social Search facility and admitted that it should have presented the issues in a “a serious and transparent way”.
This wouldn’t necessarily have been a problem, if the PR agency had been up-front that it was representing Facebook when pitching the anti-Google stories in the first place. What is seedy is that Facebook’s involvement was deliberately hidden.
This whole story reeks of poor judgement by Facebook and its PR agency.
And it’s rather hypocritical for Facebook to point fingers at possible questions over Google’s attitude to privacy, when its own house is in such a mess.
For instance, Facebook recommends that users adopt privacy settings that can reveal their personal data to anyone on the internet.
"Information set to 'everyone' is publicly available information, may be accessed by everyone on the Internet (including people not logged into Facebook), is subject to indexing by third party search engines, may be associated with you outside of Facebook (such as when you visit other sites on the internet), and may be imported and exported by us and others without privacy limitations."
"The default privacy setting for certain types of information you post on Facebook is set to 'everyone.' You can review and change the default settings in your privacy settings. If you delete 'everyone' content that you posted on Facebook, we will remove it from your Facebook profile, but have no control over its use outside of Facebook."
In other words, if you make your Facebook information available to “everyone”, it actually means “everyone, forever”. Because even if you change your mind, it’s too late – and although Facebook say they will remove it from your profile they will have no control about how it is used outside of Facebook.
If Facebook really cared about your privacy online, wouldn’t it recommend more privacy-conscious settings and not default to sharing your profile information with search engines?
If you’re interested in being safer on Facebook, read more about the security and privacy challenges that exist for Facebook users. You could also do a lot worse than follow the advice in our step-by-step guide for better security and privacy on Facebook.
And, if you’re a regular user of Facebook, be sure to join the Sophos page on Facebook to be kept informed of the latest security threats.
Full disclosure: Parts of Sophos, although not Naked Security, use Burson-Marsteller on some PR projects.
Source :- http://nakedsecurity.sophos.com
- Hypocritical Facebook scores PR own-goal with sleazy attack on Google privacy (nakedsecurity.sophos.com)
- Facebook PR firm’s Google smear tactics described as ‘creepy’ (guardian.co.uk)
- The Burson-Marsteller Mess: What Happens When the PR Firm Becomes The Story? (customerthink.com)
- Facebook smeared Google? C’mon! (slate.com)
- Facebook-Google rivalry heats up with PR fiasco (cbsnews.com)
- Facebook red-faced after PR attack on Google (windsorstar.com)
- Burson-Marsteller Deletes Critical Facebook Posts but Spares Google-Smear Flacks (wired.com)
- Busted! Facebook hires PR firm to discredit Google (rt.com)
- Facebook red-faced after PR attack on Google (business.financialpost.com)
- Facebook-Google rivalry intensifies with PR fiasco (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Facebook denies Google ‘smear bid’ (mirror.co.uk)
Posted by pratyushkp
Social networking is ubiquitous and the current trend now. It’s all pervading grip has now spread to search engines too. Google already has a social search with Twitter integrated into its results, but what’s lacking is Facebook in the social search arena. However, it isn’t for long because Facebook has partnered with Microsoft and the alliance see’s Facebook “Liked Results” being integrated into Bing searches.
Microsoft’s Bing team blog explains how it works:
“While we are very excited to talk about our next development, we’re all aware that it’s all part of a longer journey. This is the first time in human history that people are leaving social traces that machines can read and learn from, and present enhanced online experiences based on those traces. As people spend more time online and integrate their offline and online worlds, they will want their friends’ social activity and their social data to help them in making better decisions. Integrating with Twitter data 16 months ago was one step, and exploring Facebook’s rich streams is another.”
For those concerned about privacy, only the publicly liked links will be available on the search engine, but that still leaves the possibility of unsolicited likes by friends being included in the links. However, that is a moot point because the whole point of friend system is to have people you trust. Moreover, Bing mentions that not all Facebook “Liked Results” will not show up in searches. The partnership harks to a new trend of the social foray of the two players in the search engine market.
- Bing Search Improves Facebook Integration (ghacks.net)
- Bing Turns to Facebook for new Social Search Results (webmonkey.com)
- Bing Adds Facebook ‘Likes’ To Search Results (informationweek.com)
- Bing Now Displays Facebook Likes In-Line With Search Results (insidefacebook.com)
- Bing Increases Integration With Facebook Likes (seroundtable.com)
- Bing Expands Facebook Integration With Search (allfacebook.com)
- Bing integrates Facebook likes in search results (zdnet.com)
- Bing Is Catching Up to Google (couchcontent.com)
- Bing Integrates Facebook Likes Further Into Its Search Results (searchengineland.com)
- Bing Milks Facebook Even More With Liked URL’s (fastgush.com)