Byron Acohido and Jon Swartz have an interesting piece in USA Today about how a public relations firm, Burson-Marsteller:
stepped up a whisper campaign to get top-tier media outlets, including USA TODAY, to run news stories and editorials about how an obscure Google Gmail feature —Social Circle— ostensibly tramples the privacy of millions of Americans and violates federal fair trade rules.
Pushed by two high-profile media figures — former CNBC news anchor Jim Goldman and former political columnist John Mercurio, both of whom recently joined Burson — the whisper campaign illustrates how privacy has become a lightning-rod issue. Goldman pitched the Social Circle issue as a huge privacy breach to Google users and an important story for consumers.
Read more in USA Today.
Updated: This was the same firm alluded to by a few privacy advocates who received offers to ghost-write an anti-Google op-Ed last week.