10 crazy statements Eric Schmidt made

Increase google-privacy techenol

If the statements were made by anyone else from any other major corporations, say microsoft or oracle or Apple, most people probably wouldn’t even bat an eye. But this is Eric Schmidt we are talking about, former CEO and current Executive Chairmen of Google. A company that is often associate with (sometimes rightfully so) as the champion of open technology, superior products and generally geek friendly.

Sometimes you have to take double take on some of his statement and think, “really? This guy is in charge of Google, a company that is arguably sitting on the largest pile of data on anyone and everyone who used any of many google products.” Yes, yes he is. It really makes you wonder what Google thinks about its users behind closed doors as opposed to what we are used to thinking about them.

Let’s look at some of his more troubling statements:

1) “If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place”

(CNBC interview – video)

2) “Streetview the cars we drive only once, you can just move, right?”

(CNN interview in reply to privacy concerns about streetview cars – video)

3) “We know where you are. We know where you’ve been. We can more or less know what you’re thinking about.”

(Interview by the Atlantic – video)

4) “I actually think most people don’t want Google to answer their questions, they want Google to tell them what they should be doing next.”

(WSJ interview)

5) “There is what I call the creepy line.The Google policy on a lot of things is to get right up to the creepy line and not cross it.”

(on The Hill)

6) ““Show us 14 photos of yourself and we can identify who you are. You think you don’t have 14 photos of yourself on the internet? You’ve got Facebook photos!”

(Techonomy interview)

7) “‘Don’t be evil’ is misunderstood. We don’t have an ‘Evilmeter’ we can sort of apply–you know–what is good and what is evil….The rule allows for conversation. I thought when I joined the company this was crap…it must be a joke. I was sitting in a room in [the] first six months…talking about some advertising…and someone said that it is evil. It stopped the product. It’s a cultural rule, a way of forcing the conversation especially in areas that are ambiguous.”

(New Yorker Interview)

8) “I don’t believe society understands what happens when everything is available, knowable and recorded by everyone all the time … I mean we really have to think about these things as a society.”

(WSJ interview)

9) “No anonymity. And the reason is that in a world of asymmetric threats, true anonymity is too dangerous. … I think it’s reasonable to say that you need a name service for humans. … The governments are going to require it in some form. They just are going to. It’s not going to be OK to have random terrorists doing random terrible things under the cover of absolute anonymity.”

(technonomy interview video)

10) “The idea was that we don’t quite know what evil is, but if we have a rule that says don’t be evil, then employees can say, I think that’s evil,” … “Now, when I showed up, I thought this was the stupidest rule ever, because there’s no book about evil except maybe, you know, the Bible or something.”

(NPR interview – audio, In his defense he later said that the rule worked and served its purpose.)

I hope you are as excited about Google Glass and its privacy implications as I am. To top it off you can now take pictures with just a wink, without consent or anyone’s knowledge.

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