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Bing already facing privacy issues with Facebook integration

Bing’s Social Search Facebook integration arrives today, and the controversies have only yet just begun. In their announcement blog post, Bing points out an interesting little tidbit.

Assuming you have selected to share information with your friends inside Facebook, you will show up in profile searches in Bing, even if you have selected not to have profile information show up in public search engines. This is similar behavior to the way Facebook works. It’s important to note that you will not show up in web searches on major search engines including Bing, just in Facebook Profile Searches within Bing conducted by your friends or friends of friends.

Basically, if you decide that Facebook shouldn’t show your profile information to public search engines, Bing will proudly display the information anyways. Since Bing is so heavily integrated with facebook now, it apparently uses the same privacy rules as Facebook, and profile searches done in Bing will have the same rules as if you were searching directly from Facebook. While the information is only displayed to friends and friends of friends, if you say you don't want data given to public search engines, Facebook is still doing just that. This is bound to ruffle some feathers.

As the new wave of social search platforms begins to emerge, we’ll be seeing a lot of line-blurring between social networks and search engines. In an era where your social makeup consists of data in a database, the differences between a social network and a search engine become slighter and slighter. Privacy issues like this one will likely start coming to the forefront of the privacy news front, as people begin to see the consequences (both good and ugly) of public sharing.

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