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
    DCX2, 8 Dec 2009 @ 2:41pm

    Re: Politics vs. Morality vs. Practicality

    Either (1) you shouldn't be doing what you're doing, or (2) you're embarrassed about who you are, which is not morally improper but psychologically unhealthy.

    Or (3) you are proud of who you are, but society as a whole has yet to tolerate who you are, for whatever reason, despite being a 100% law abiding citizen.

    The classic example would be gays and lesbians, who quite often must keep their sexuality a secret or face harassment, humiliation, physical assault, or even death. Practitioners of BDSM are another group who are concerned with privacy but surely not embarrassed by who they are.

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