Firefox Users, Maybe You Should Switch to Bing
Article by George Norman
On 14 Dec 2009
You might remember that Google CEO Eric Schmidt made a comment that spurred a lot of controversy amongst computer users that take their privacy seriously. Here are his actual words:

“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. If you really need that kind of privacy, the reality is that search engines -- including Google -- do retain this information for some time and it's important, for example, that we are all subject in the United States to the Patriot Act and it is possible that all that information could be made available to the authorities.”

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We won’t go into how this statement makes Schmidt and Google look like they couldn’t care less about privacy. If it sounds worrisome, there is something you can do. You can switch to Bing, as Mozilla founding member Asa Dotzler recommended. According to Dotzler, Bing has a better privacy policy than Google and for that reason you would be well advised to make the switch.

“I think that the thing that bothers me most about Google CEO Eric Schmidt's comment is that it makes clear that he simply doesn't understand privacy. That a company with so much user data on its servers is led by someone who just doesn't understand privacy is really scary to me and it should be scary to you as well,” commented Dotzler on his personal blog.

To switch to Bing you need only add it to the list of search engine in Firefox. And to do so you need only get the Bing add-on (click here and you will be directed to addons.mozilla.org).

Dotzler’s opinion is his own and not the official position of the Mozilla Foundation. But it is a big thing to hear something like “leave Google behind, switch to Bing” from such an important figure at Mozilla. Keep in mind that Google is Mozilla’s primary revenue source. For years now the default search engine in Mozilla is Google; not to mention that the Firefox homepage is a tweaked version of the Google homepage.

Things started to go sour between Mozilla and Google ever since the later decide to come up with its own browser (that would be Chrome). Since then the Mozilla Foundation has not been afraid to contemplate a future without Google.

In related news, did you know that Microsoft hired a research firm to find out if Google users stick with Google out of loyalty or if they use Google because there is no other search engine to fill its shoes? The firm recruited 15 Google users and told them to use Bing and only Bing for a period of 1 week (these Google users were not informed the study was sponsored by Microsoft). After the week passed, the research firm asked the 15 Google users if they will keep using Google or if they will switch over to Bing. 5 said they’ll stick with Google; the other 10 said they’ll switch to Bing. You can view some clips from the study on Bing’s YouTube channel.



Tags: Google, Mozilla, Firefox, Privacy, Bing
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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