A recent report on USA Today said that it hired two reps from a PR firm to plant negative stories about Google. While Apple or Microsoft were initially suspected, it has been confirmed that the company putting the PR hit out was Facebook.

Facebook admitted to hiring the firm when confronted with evidence. They said they did so for two reasons: that Google s social networking-related actions raise concerns about privacy, and that Google’s Social Circle service was pulling data from Facebook for secondary connections which they claim as a violation of terms of service.

We are concerned that Google may be improperly using data they have scraped about Facebook users, said the Facebook spokesman.

This incident is embarrassing both to the PR firm and to Facebook, which has been working to make itself out as trustworthy. When informed about the details, Google said it would have to consider its response.

Source: AdWeek