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 @ 12:14pm

    Nate, you need to be yelled at now. Just kidding. I am going to waggle a finger, though, because right now you're sitting in a safe place. It's warm and comfy where you live.

    In other places, your preferred sexual partner may get you killed. Or the government can change hands and what was once okay is no longer okay. Or you might have powerful enemies who use information against you. You aren't thinking of that because you're comfy.

    Recently, a teacher was fired because vacation photos showed her (OMG PANIC!) clutching what might be an alcoholic beverage. Now, this is a ridiculous holdover from a century ago when teachers were supposed to be unmarried virgins who were just shy of nunhood, but there you go. That's what can happen when you get out of your comfort zone.

    I could go on and on with scenarios which could and have happened, but the main thing is that you need to think like someone who isn't comfy.

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