Schmidt's 'Don't Do Stuff You Want To Keep Private' Sounds Like 'If You Aren't Doing Anything Wrong...'

from the you-sure-you-meant-that? dept

Over a decade ago, Sun founder Scott McNealy famously said "You have zero privacy anyway. Get over it." Apparently former McNealy protege, Eric Schmidt is now taking the same basic view in his current job as CEO of Google. In a recent interview he suggested that people pushing for privacy are the one's at fault:
"If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place."
This sounds suspiciously like a reheated version of "if you've done nothing wrong, you've got nothing to worry about," that's trotted out by law enforcement types when pushing for stronger laws to violate individuals' privacy. It's an odd statement for someone like Schmidt to make, especially given the incredible level of scrutiny given to Google for the view it has into people's lives. To folks who are worried about such things, it sounds positively dismissive, which isn't the position that Google should be cultivating with those who are concerned right now. Furthermore, given Schmidt's own thin skin when reporters posted some personal info (found via Google to prove a point) that resulted in a "ban" on talking to reporters from CNET for a bit, it's really out of place.

Filed Under: eric schmidt, privacy

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Dec 2009 @ 1:11pm

    Scott McNealy was a great person who created a platform for financial institutions that was able to compile transactional-level data. There is no doubt about that.

    What Scott forgot was that he's done. His company is about to be swallowed up by Oracle, and happened to be the very company that he was in competition with. Oracle, as you may recall, was originally the name of a database Larry Ellison developed while working in Government sector. I think it was an FBI or CIA system, but can't fully recall.

    I never really did understand Ellison's desire to swallow upsuch good companies as Sybase, Siebel, Portal Software, BEA or MetaSolv, and not continue with their development path, and instead move to move these to other internal applications. It seems Ellison works on Acquire-Extinguish mentality.

    How many Siebel implementations have ended in disaster? Because that seems to be the desired outcome for Sun. Remember recently, Oracle picked up MySQL via a Sun MicroSystems partnership. And MySql has a partnership with SAP to develop their SAPDB partnership.

    What's the problem?
    Ego and lots of it. While Mr. McNealy may have been a major influence on Mr. Schmidt, I have to think that some of those thoughts and ideas need to either go the way of Oracle, or be beefed up. What was shared was shared. There's no in between. Regardless of what happened when he bought Siebel, thousands of people were without phone service.

    Whose side are you on, Eric?

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