The story emerged after US blogger Christopher Seghoian published emails sent to him by Burson-Marsteller which asked him to investigate the search giant’s Social Circles service, which Facebook claims collects data without people having a way to view or control it.
Facebook has confirmed that it hired the PR firm but denied that it intended it to be a smear campaign against Google.
A Facebook spokeswoman says: “No ’smear’ campaign was authorized or intended. Instead, we wanted third parties to verify that people did not approve of the collection and use of information from their accounts on Facebook and other services for inclusion in Google Social Circles, just as Facebook did not approve of use or collection for this purpose.”
“We engaged Burson-Marsteller to focus attention on this issue, using publicly available information that could be independently verified by any media organization or analyst. The issues are serious and we should have presented them in a serious and transparent way,” she added.
This story first appeared on newmediaage.co.uk. For more digital stories and analysis’ from NMA click here now