Google Accused Of Smear Campaign Over Street View Controversy

The director of Privacy International, Simon Davies is finding at his own expense that taking on "Goliath" Google over Street View was never going to be an easy task.

The Telegraph reports that Mr Davies has accused Google of "deliberately spreading a bizarre conspiracy theory" which purports that he was biased in favour of one of Google's fiercest rival, Microsoft.

Privacy International has been one of Street View's most vocal opponents since Google's controversial mapping feature was launched in the UK. The organisation went as far as registering a formal complaint with the Information Commissioner's Office. Which is the reason why, Simon Davies continues, Google has been briefing journalists in order to discredit his opinions.

Google replied that it only wanted to highlight the links that exist between Microsoft and Simon Davies's own data protection company, 80/20. But Google has failed to prove that, although both companies alongside others like Facebook, have collaborated in the past on internet privacy, there was a definite and clear exchange of money or benefits.

Mr Davies has resorted to writing an open letter to Google's head honcho, Eric Schmidt, to tell him about the whole ruckus. Google, he continues, seems to think that "the world’s most prominent privacy advocates, the world’s biggest software developer and the world’s leading PR company have entered into a secret pact to discredit Google".

Another interesting twist to the story is that it is not the first time that Google has apparently mounted a smear campaign against Simon Davies and Privacy International. Curiously, Google was the only one to fail a 6-month investigation, which involved 23 other firms, into how web companies and privacy practices and allegedly told the European press that PI was institutionally biased against Google, in favour of Microsoft.

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Our Comments

Shoot the messenger to kill the message. That's one of the oldest tactics in the book of tactical warfare. Doing so makes Google look more like Microsoft than ever before and sends Google's now legendary "Don't do Evil" motto to the wind. PI has yet to be demoted or delisted from Google's Search Engine Result Pages (although that's very, very unlikely).

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