Mozilla exec: Bing has a better privacy policy than Google


— 5:14 PM on December 10, 2009

Recent comments by Google CEO Eric Schmidt about his search engine's privacy policy don't sit well with one Mozilla executive. As ComputerWorld reports, Mozilla community development head Asa Dotzler wrote a post on his personal blog slamming Google and saying that Microsoft's search engine, Bing, has a better privacy policy.

What exactly did Schmidt say? A video of his comment has made it onto YouTube, and we can hear him answering the following when asked by a CNBC interviewer, "People are treating Google like their most trusted friend. Should they be?"

Well, I think judgment matters. . . . If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place. But if you really need that kind of privacy, the reality is that search engines, including Google, do retain certain this information for some time. And it's important—for example, we are all subject in the United States to the Patriot Act—it is possible that that information could be made available to the authorities.

Schmidt's statement was cut, so it's possible that juicy nugget was taken out of context. Not so, says Dotzler in his blog post: "There is no ambiguity, no 'out of context' here." He then provides a link to the search add-on that lets Firefox users switch their main search engine from Google to Bing.

Mind you, Dotzler's blog doesn't quite look like an official Mozilla channel. The executive has criticized Google before for allegedly not providing adequate browser usage stats since it released Chrome, and he's even delved into some political commentary, attacking Senator John McCain for sponsoring legislation against net neutrality.

Nevertheless, as ComputerWorld notes, Google and Mozilla are currently partners, with the latter setting the former's search engine as the default option in Firefox. The two companies signed a "multi-year deal" that ends in 2011, and Mozilla "derives the vast bulk of its revenue from the arrangement."

   
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