Mozilla exec: Bing has a better privacy policy than Google

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."

Comments closed
    • bcronce
    • 10 years ago

    Seems that anyone who doesn’t like Google is because they don’t understand Google. They retain data for statistical info and technical performance reasons. Google makes great products that integrate seamlessly into each other, are simple to use, and have lots of options.

    You will ALWAYS have to trade some privacy for usability. If you don’t like Google, it’s because you would rather have more privacy over a decent product.

    For me, Google returns distinctively better search results than any other search out there. Ma’b Bing works well for some people because it makes assumptions on the user’s ability to express their thoughts through key word; which makes it work great for “Average Joe” searches.

    • HFadeel
    • 10 years ago

    I’ve been useing Google for a long time, but I started using Kngine (A New Semantic Search and Question Answer Engine) from two month ago.
    Kngine is better in features and privacy.

    • sigher
    • 10 years ago

    Why the hell act like you need either bing or google, there are fronts for them that privatize you know? Not sure who pays who here, but somebody gets a nice xmas with lots of presents, while not being nice.

    §[<http://www.ixquick.com/<]§ §[<http://www.dogpile.com/<]§ §[<https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/search?q=scroog<]§ Buy a clue, bing.. jeez people.

    • wira020
    • 10 years ago

    When was that deal made?… It’s hard for me to understand What is Chrome to Mozilla..

    • moog
    • 10 years ago

    Cyril why don’t you check out bing maps beta? It’s better than google maps now, not sure why this didn’t make a headline (AFAIK).

      • indeego
      • 10 years ago

      Wow that truly is impressiveg{<...<}g

    • WaltC
    • 10 years ago

    I’ve made Bing my default, but I still have to go to Google when Bing doesn’t bring it up. Overall, I like Bing’s interface a lot better, though.

    • stmok
    • 10 years ago

    Sometimes CEO’s should STFU!

    • bcronce
    • 10 years ago

    I usually get what I want from google in the first 5 links. If I have an issue searching, I will use different engines.

    The most recent “hard search” I had was trying to find out how long it takes for an i7 to wake up from a C6 sleep state. Both google and bing did a very bad job finding this info, but bing returned more i7 performance reviews while google returned more tech docs, which the tech docs helped me more since they had better key words in the reading to help me refine my search.

    Bing seems to do fine for me when doing “average joe” searches, but when I want my searches to return VERY detailed info like tech docs or research sites, this is where bing tends to fall off for me.

    Google seems to auto complete my search text better.

    eg. Search field auto-complete
    Bing:” WoW addons x” returns nothing
    Google: “WoW addons x” gives me x-perl, xperience, xbar, xp per hour, etc

    If both were equal, which I do like google more, I would stick with google just because I like their other services and I love iGoogle.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 10 years ago

      I *just* tried your search in Bing and this is the fiorst result: §[<http://wow.curse.com/downloads/wow-addons/details/xperl.aspx<]§ Since I don't play WoW maybe I'm misunderstanding what you were looking for. But it certainly doesn't return 'nothing.'

        • way2strong
        • 10 years ago

        he was saying the auto-complete doesn’t give him any suggestions in bing

          • MadManOriginal
          • 10 years ago

          Ah yes. But does autocomplete even matter when typing “WoW addons x” then pressing the enter key gets the link I posted as a first hit? And if you know what you’re looking for wouldn’t you type exactly what you want? I’d think that typing a few more characters to get what’s after the ‘x’ would be just as good as letting Google decide what I mean…looking over the autcomplete options…deciding whether they fit what I mean….deciding which one to choose (or not.)

    • vihad
    • 10 years ago

    Bing is ok for the average joes query, but when things get hard google is miles ahead, at least a couple of months ago that i last checked.
    The thing with google is that they do some stuff very nice (search, books, maps, gmail, calendar) and they also play ball most of the time e.g. the open source a lot of code/projects, they agreed with plaintiffs on the book scanning case etc.
    Don’t get me wrong, i don’t like their privacy policies either, so i take precautions. But quit using their services and go to inferior ones? Absolutely not an option.

    • cfroese
    • 10 years ago

    Is Bing more secure? I dunno. What I do know is that it sucks if you happen to access it over remote desktop. That pretty picture they put on the starting search page is not remote desktop friendly.

    • tesla120
    • 10 years ago

    well thats cool…. I’m still using google.

    • bdwilcox
    • 10 years ago
      • Meadows
      • 10 years ago

      How does that work actually?

        • Furen
        • 10 years ago

        You send your search query to Scroogle, which then relays it to Google. Scroogle then receives the search results which it relays to you. It’s basically search-by-proxy.

          • MadManOriginal
          • 10 years ago

          I bet Scroogle keeps all your info !!11 Who’s watching the watchers that watch the watchers?

            • TurtlePerson2
            • 10 years ago

            It’s turtles all the way down!

        • SNM
        • 10 years ago

        Just like it says on their homepage. They perform the query and don’t keep the results. If it’s hosted in the USA, I think it’s illegal, although I could be wrong. Not really sure what the ridiculous laws actually say.

        • bdwilcox
        • 10 years ago

        Read blurb in the black box here:
        §[<http://www.scroogle.org/<]§ BTW, don't go to Scroogle dot com. It's a porn site. Of course, I found this out at work...

      • MadManOriginal
      • 10 years ago

      What’s their beef with Wikipedia?

    • Sargent Duck
    • 10 years ago

    I started testing out Bing off and on the first week it came out. By the end of that week I had firmly switched to Bing.

    Microsoft is taking Bing seriously and it seems like every other week they’re adding/improving something to Bing. Which I like.

      • UberGerbil
      • 10 years ago

      The folks I know that search from mobile devices rave about Bing. I keep my phone as dumb as possible so I can’t say from personal experience.

        • Corrado
        • 10 years ago

        The Bing mobile app is AWESOME. I was in Boston over Thanksgiving and it was a saviour for me on my BlackBerry. I’ve since gotten an iPhone and wish MS would make a Bing mobile app for it.

          • BobbinThreadbare
          • 10 years ago

          There has got to be some irony there.

            • [TR]
            • 10 years ago

            There certainly is, but when MS is the size it is and has so many different and far reaching businesses, corporate pride has to be toned down a bit for some things.
            The iPhone being what it is, and Apple not being a competitor in web search, why not make the App? Frankly, I don’t think not having one will sway anyone from the iPhone to Windows Mobile or other smartphones.

            • khands
            • 10 years ago

            Besides that, it’s not like they don’t make software for Apple, MS Office anyone?

      • sigher
      • 10 years ago

      I banned bing on the first week, after I searched who powered it, specifically an adcompany, it’s not like it’s simply financed by using an adcompany, no it’s freaking designed by one, and yes I know it’s all owned by MS but the focus is clear.

      Don’t trust either of them, neither is respecting you and both will sell you down the river.

    • SNM
    • 10 years ago

    This might be more useful if he said why Bing’s privacy policy was better than Google’s.

    As it is…well, they’re both going to keep the same server logs required by the Patriot Act. Last I heard about them I think Google was trying to fight the laws in court and failed. *shrug*

    • MadManOriginal
    • 10 years ago

    I’ve been using Google for a long time naturally, and started using Bing on and off when it came out. I finally changed my default to Bing a few days ago after being fed up with Google’s pissing on users like this.

    • indeego
    • 10 years ago

    “The two companies signed a “multi-year deal” that ends in 2011,”

    At Chrome’s current adoption rate, Google actually might have some leverage by theng{<...<}g

      • OneArmedScissor
      • 10 years ago

      I use Chrome, but I thought it hadn’t moved from about 4% “market share” in quite a while?

        • no51
        • 10 years ago

        i feel a surge will be coming since chrome has extensions now.

          • OneArmedScissor
          • 10 years ago

          I wish, because I think it would spur faster movement in the browser competition, but people moved from IE to FF because:

          1) IE7’s layout totally changed and undoubtedly put people off because of being unfamiliar or just less user friendly, while FF had the same general layout as IE6 and has kept it. It’s what people are used to. Chrome’s is different, and that pushes people away.

          2) There was a significant negative stigma developing against IE years ago when FF began to gain ground, and FF’s pushes to increase browser speed just cemented it, while MS sat around twiddling their thumbs.

          3) There were also fewer (basically zero) widely recognized options, making a switch from IE to FF obvious. Today, the amount of options is just downright confusing to the average person.

          So here we are, with multiple fast browsers, all trying to have the same features. It’s largely about personal preference now, but most people simply do not care to get used to a different interface.

            • Sargent Duck
            • 10 years ago

            Actually, your point #2, Microsoft is developing IE9 which will offload a lot of stuff to the gpu. From what I remember reading, the developer that was being questioned said it was gonna be fast.

            • BooTs
            • 10 years ago

            3 generations too late, and for what real reason anyway? From what I remember, the new IE was going to use DirectX to off-load to the GPU… Why wouldn’t it already be doing that? Why is it using ancient API’s and crap deeply entrenched in the Windows DLL maze instead of DirectX which has been around since before GPUs?

            • BobbinThreadbare
            • 10 years ago

            Since when do 2D windows apps use DirectX?

            • UberGerbil
            • 10 years ago

            g[<3 generations too late, and for what real reason anyway?<]g So is it too late, or does it have no real reason to exist? If it's irrelevant, than what do you care that it's late? And if you're angry that it's late, you must think it has a real reason to exist. You can't have it both ways. g[

            • redavni
            • 10 years ago

            I was just going to say the same thing. I’ll just add that IE has supported DirectDraw (which was the Windows 2D GPU acceleration API was called before it became Direct2D) GPU acceleration for plugins since probably IE4. Flash and Quicktime have used it for years. The primary reason GPU acceleration hasn’t been used before more generally is that it can be slower than software rendering.

            For the record, it is possible to download a Direct2D and Direct3D accelerated Firefox experimental build from §[<http://www.basschouten.com/<]§ .

            • UberGerbil
            • 10 years ago

            Well there are some significant differences between DirectDraw and Direct2D (though the former had some of the same goals as the latter) — it’s not just a renamed API. DirectDraw didn’t take much advantage of the GPU (which is why software rendering was sometimes faster) but IE (and particularly its ActiveX plugin architecture) did support DirectDraw surfaces, which at least allowed the GPU to blt to the screen (which is why the Flash plug-in on IE is generally better-performing than in other browsers).

            And yeah, there have been experimental hacks and frameworks to use past versions of Direct3D as a basis for doing 2D work, but it was pretty kludgy — using textures for character glyphs, etc — and everybody had to roll their own. Direct2D makes that all much easier (and standardized).

    • Vasilyfav
    • 10 years ago

    Glad to see Google finally realized you can’t achieve world domination while totally respecting people’s privacy and not collecting your personal data.

    Baby steps, Google, baby steps.

      • UberGerbil
      • 10 years ago

      Yes, every journey to “evil” begins with a single step. And the road to perdition is paved in gold. Or at least adsense dollars.

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