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. icon
    chris (profile), 8 Dec 2009 @ 2:36pm

    Re: So...

    Does this mean I have to let authorities film me having sex, or that sex is immoral and punishable by law?

    just about all sex (at least all the interesting stuff) is illegal/immoral/unacceptable somewhere thanks to the literally countless number of state, local, federal and international laws, regulations, agreements, treaties, and decrees. this could easily be extended to any action, no matter how mundane you may believe it to be.

    no one has absolute recollection and understanding of the law, nor do they have full recollection and understanding of every word they have ever uttered, nor every action they have ever performed, nor every person who was present to see, hear, or otherwise observe those words and actions. also they neither have complete recollection and understanding of the contents of their homes, vehicles, computers, financial transactions, or medical histories, nor do they have absolute recollection and understanding of the histories of their families, friends, co-workers, neighbors or associates.

    simply put, you think you know that you have nothing to hide, but you really have no idea.

    once you understand that, you will understand that no one, at any time, in any place, under any circumstance, has "nothing to hide", ever.

    we all have "everything" to hide simply because we have no clue and couldn't possibly know what "everything" is. somewhere, you might be guilty of something, that is wrong according to someone. therefore, we should be free to take every available action to avoid any and all scrutiny at all times.

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