Google takes on Facebook

Another day, another Google swing at Facebook.
This time the Googlers have bought Angstro, a startup that enables the sharing of news and other data across social networking sites.
The deal enables Google to tap Angstro founder Rohit Khare, a well-known Valley entrepreneur who was previously involved in KnowNow and non-profit CommerceNet.
Khare is attracted by Google’s open approach to social networking and content, compared with Facebook’s walled garden strategy, the LA Times noted.
Angstro, named after Swedish physicist Anders Jonas Angstrom, says its technology enables it to crunch a huge swathe of data  “to deliver very few, yet very intelligent results.”
Coming on the heels of Google’s recent acquisition of social apps firm Slide and social games developer Zynga, the move confirms that it’s game on in the social networking space, however inept some think that Google might be.
That also means its game on for our privacy, thanks to the willingness of both these companies to cross red lines with their use of personal data.
But the thing about privacy is it’s, well, private, and views on it differ.
An Economist survey shows that even within Europe responses to the recent “Wi-Fi gate” flap varied widely.
Austria began a formal probe and demanded the deletion of the Wi-Fi data, the Czech Republic did nothing, while Germany is holding an inquiry but has not asked for the data to be destroyed.
The same applies in Asia.
Hong Kong’s privacy commissioner decided not to file a complaint after Google said it had destroyed the data. Singapore, which has no body of privacy law, told it is reviewing the case with “relevant authorities.” Not much is likely to happen there.
Plenty will happen in this social networking battle. Google fears for its business as Facebook becomes the default window into the web.

The contest will hit telcos who are building businesses in mobile advertising and apps, and of course our privacy.