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

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.”