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
    Lyle, 8 Dec 2009 @ 10:03pm

    In a village there never was much privacy.

    Recall in the early days of the internet everyone talked about the global village. They forgot that in a village everyone knew everyones business. There were busybodies who watched comings and goings and gossiped over everything. Well we got the unintended consequence of the village less privacy. Its in some sense a be careful what you ask for you might get it issue. A surveillance camera is little different than the busybody for example except for costs , one could in principle put booths up at corners and station observers there. (Hey I just solved the unemployment problem, replace cameras with humans!)

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