Microsoft: Google breached your privacy; use Bing

Microsoft: Google breached your privacy; use Bing

Summary: Microsoft's latest campaign takes an almighty swipe at Google, after the search giant was found to have circumvented the privacy settings of Safari users across the Web earlier this year.


"Apply cold water to burned area."

Microsoft is taking advantage of Google's own "do no evil" policy after the search giant was found tracking Safari users in order to display advertisements even when they should have been blocked. Microsoft fired back on all cylinders with a scathing marketing campaign.

Safari users are now directed to a page which outlines how Google was given a $22.5 million penalty by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission earlier this year. The page focuses on Google's recent controversy with tracking users and capitalizes on it by pointing users to boycott Google in favor of Microsoft's own Bing search engine, as Microsoft clearly wants the privacy-infringing saga to remain at the front of people's minds when they use the search engine.

The page reads:

"If you are a Safari user, Google may have recently tracked you even though it promised it would not. Want to do something about it? Stop searching with Google and start searching with Bing."

To add insult to injury, clicking the button points to "google record ftc fine" as a search query.

Google was uncovered bypassing the privacy settings of Safari users, including on desktop Macs and iOS devices, such as iPhones and iPads, to place tracking cookies on the devices, even though the settings should have prevented such activity. 

Despite the record penalty handed down by the FTC, Google would have recouped that $22.5 million fine in just five hours, according to figures based on the search giant's last quarterly results. 

After the debacle, Google set up its own "privacy red team" in order to shine a bright light on the company's products in a bid to prevent such a controversy sparking again. 

Topics: Microsoft, Apple, Browser, Google, iPhone, iPad, Legal, Privacy

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  • Google tracking

    I don't sign into a google account yet its ads track me everywhere.....
    • opting out is an epic fail too

      In addition to your comment Dan, opting out of this is just as sneaky.

      Google still finds a way (loophole) to still track you using ads. There is no difference that I've noticed after opting out. I still get the ads and for some strange reason they are always linking to phishing scams.

      And I thought they were cracking down on these type of ads???
      • email your congress critters and senators!

        Tell them that Google must be restrained. Google must be made to produce a Google removal tool that removes all beacons and registry entries as well as Google Spyware like Gmail, Google Voice, Picasa, Earth, etc. Google must allow 100% opt out, perhaps even charging a minimal fee for their software with no data gathering allowed!

        There are some who don't care as long as it is free. I disliked Bing every time I tried them. Until this year. Bing is as good as Google for the raw results, and better because they are not tracking me everywhere.

        MS and Apple make something and sell it. Google only sells advertising. I am slowly disengaging from Google, and the Windows 8 tablets and phones will be the finishing touches. If you think Google is free only paying with your privacy, location, address, email content, voice content, you are woefully uninformed. I almost got sucked in too far too.

        I have a Samsung Tab 10.1 I am typing this on. I also have an android phone. Google must be used resistance is futile as without a Google account no vetted apps available. MS already set no tracking by default and the ad world went ballistic! So if you think using Google is free, calculate how much it costs to get non Android software and hardware.

        I don't do Apple, but got sucked into the Google collective not realizing that they are so radically different than Apple and MS.

        I can pay Apple and MS for their products and they leave me alone, don't track me if asked without taking back their software.

        We need laws that require Google to let folks who want them out to let them out completely. If you think you get their priducts free, get some legislation together and watch how they scream about their revenues. Too big to fail? Nope, I hope we have learned that lesson too. Are they buying politicians? You bet, we need them gone too and get the voters aware of their interests.

        I got rid of one gmail account but kept one until the MS tablet and Phones come out. I am buying the reduced price Windows 8 for my two desktops, my laptop, my netbook, and it will already be on my new tablet. If MS fails somehow, I will switch to Apple if they guarantee privacy and anti beacon and adware support, but they can't even respond to actual attacks on OSX, so this MS push seems to be a defining moment in technology. I have been doing computers and tech since 1983, and since in the military, then retired. The only problem in getting away from them are the folks who don't care and think Facebook matters.

        Write your representatives folks. The Google monopoly grab is worse than MS ever did.

        Microsoft, develop anti adware and create a safe space we can play in privacy wise. I find it amazing how stupid the majority can be. For decades we fought unwanted adware and then invite major intruders in called Google.

        I will be Google free not later than January 2013, just a few months down the road. MS, want to catch up? Privacy, we will pay who vote.
        • yeah

          >>I will be Google free
          you also seem to have been logic free for quite long
      • You think Google is the only company tracking you?

        Any site you visit puts cookies on your browser including ZDNet. Did Microsoft claim they don't do this? No. Microsoft uses tracking cookies on their sites, too. They just avoid mentioning that.
  • Do not evil...

    Give me a break, that is PR bull***t. I stop using google and google "products" almost two years ago and I'm happy with that.
    • So who's brand of evil are you purchasing now?

      T.he pri.ce of free is your inform.ation, the of M.S is your wallet, and the price A.pple is your freedom.

      Pick one.
      • So now

        every company is evil now? I chose this what is best for me and don't rip me from my privacy. And yes, i chose Microsoft. "Do no evil" is Google poster empty word, they do evil on every step, and lie saying they don't. How can I trust them?
        • How can you trust Microsoft?

          When they leverage their monopoly at every chance to crush competition and innovation. Were you asleep for the 5 years that MS would not upgrade IE6? That was 5 years without any innovation in web browsing technology during the peak of their browser monopoly. How can you trust a company with that kind of record?

          They corner you into their walled garden, break the interoperability of their OS to eliminate your choice, and then they triple dip into your wallet. Every dollar you give them further empowers them to seal off the market from competition and innovation while they raise prices. Now MS wants to charge everyone monthly subscription fees just to use a computer.

          This is what you are enabling by patronizing them.

          Google might look at your data but at least they aren't sharing it, it goes into an algorithm. Regardless, you can control what data you reveal but you cannot control the prices set by corporate monopolies. The tech industry will only be healthy when there is balanced competition.
          • And here we are...

            "...monopoly at every chance to crush competition and innovation..." you still in 90's? Wake up dude! This is just silly, write what you want, I'm not going to waste my time for haters, I have better things to do.
          • Like hate

            by the sounds of it. Oodles of time for hating of the google empire?
            Little Old Man
          • What happens when you forget your history?

            It repeats itself.
          • ...

            "When they leverage their monopoly at every chance to crush competition and innovation. Were you asleep for the 5 years that MS would not upgrade IE6? That was 5 years without any innovation in web browsing technology during the peak of their browser monopoly. How can you trust a company with that kind of record?"

            Not sure what that has to do with privacy... but whatever.

            So my choices are the "Free" and open champion of the people.... who track you at every turn.

            Or the corporate bully who wants to make money by crushing the competition.

            Hmm... the corporate bully please.

            Now, since we really don't know what MS is doing to track us, this is kind of a ridiculous question. Though I do know for sure, I can't trust Google... I'm still unsure of MS in this respect.
          • More like the extortionist vs the snoop

            The problem is the snoop is a mindless robot and the extortionist just took your last penny.

            You prefer being penniless?
          • Get a grip, and get real at the same time.

            Nobody forces anyone to part with their money.

            There are choices, many of them.

            You don't like MS, go with Apple, or go with Google, or go with a combo of PC/Linux.

            Don't like Bing? Go with Google. If you don't like any of those two, there are still others.

            The boogie man that you see, can be eradicated, simply by choosing something else.

            But, don't be deliberately attacking the providers of hardware or software or services, when, there are still choices out there. Don't transfer your hate or dislike unto others. Live and let live.
          • Exactly adornoe

            You can choose extortionist or snoop.

            "Nobody forces anyone to part with their money."
            It's called leverage. Once you buy into MS, they leverage that to sabotage all other software options. Once your business partners/clients/etc buy into MS, they leverage that to sabotage your attempts to share data with your neighbors without using paid for MS software.

            By sabotage I mean the specific MS practice of deliberately introducing bugs in competing software products when they attempt interact with MS software. Sometimes this is done with the guise of "open" interfaces/specifications/formats that in production are littered with undocumented secretes. Then there is the practice of changing the behavior of certain interfaces in a manner that produces breaking changes. Very rarely are these changes necessary or even productive to MS.
          • *edit

            replace neighbors with business partners/clients/etc
          • Boogie men everywhere...

            Look, what you describe, is standard in the trade, where Apple will lock you in, and Google will lock you in, and IBM will lock you in, and Oracle will lock you in, etc.

            People still make choices, and, on the tech side, most of them already know about the lock-in features and tactics. Without the lock-in, the iOS ecosystem would not be able to keep as many people "interested", and neither would Google or any other giant in the tech field. However, on the MS side, there is no lock-in for devices, since, the OEMs are responsible for providing a huge diversity of appliances, but, with Apple, you can only choose Apple devices to run iOS, and you can only choose iOS for the Apple mobile platforms. With PCs, people can still use other OSes and other non-MS applications. With Android and with Apple, they have their "proprietary" apps stores, and to switch platforms, almost always means losing a lot of apps that people paid for, so, people have to think twice or thrice or more before making the switch, and oftentimes, decide against it, for fear of losing their investments in apps.

            So, keep finding the boogie man, but, there are plenty of them out there.
          • Microsoft is the worst

            As far as tracking goes. They claim it's to prevent piracy, but we know it's all about gaining "unearned income"
            Troll Hunter J
          • And there is a ""proprietary" apps store"

            foe WP7, and soon one for WP 8, even when it's installed on a tablet, or a PC.
            Troll Hunter J