An executive at Mozilla – maker of the popular Firefox web browser – has publicly recommended that Firefox users switch to Microsoft’s Bing from Google, citing privacy concerns raised by the latter search engine.

Asa Dotzler, writing on the company blog, implied that recent comments on privacy by Google CEO Eric Schmidt were troubling, and offered a link for Firefox users that showed how to use Bing as Firefox’s search engine rather than Google. Schmidt’s comments came during an interview on CNBC, and the Google chief’s statement on user privacy was apparently unsatisfactory to Dotzler.

Dotzler also wrote that Schmidt "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."

It is uncertain what effect this rare public display of ill-feeling aimed at Google will have on search engine optimization (SEO), but Firefox is currently the second-most popular browser in the world, and responsible for large volumes of search traffic.