Feeds

Google chief: Only miscreants worry about net privacy

'If you don't want anyone to know, don't do it'

Top three mobile application threats

If you're concerned about Google retaining your personal data, then you must be doing something you shouldn't be doing. At least that's the word from Google CEO Eric Schmidt.

"If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place," Schmidt tells CNBC, sparking howls of incredulity from the likes of Gawker.

But the bigger news may be that Schmidt has actually admitted there are cases where the search giant is forced to release your personal data.

"If you really need that kind of privacy, the reality is that search engines - including Google - do retain this information for some time and it's important, for example, that we are all subject in the United States to the Patriot Act and it is possible that all that information could be made available to the authorities."

There's also the possibility of subpoenas. And hacks. But if any of this bothers you, you should be ashamed of yourself. According to Eric Schmidt.

Gawker highlights the irony of Schmidt's typically haughty proclamations. After all, this is the man who banned CNet for a year after the news site published information about him it had gleaned from, yes, Google.

But the larger point here is that Schmidt isn't even addressing the issue at hand. Per usual. When the privacy question appears, Google likes to talk about the people asking the questions. But the problem lies elsewhere: with the millions upon millions blissfully unaware of the questions.

If you're concerned about your online privacy, you can always put the kibosh on Google's tracking cookies. You can avoid signing in to Google accounts. And, yes, you can avoid using Google for anything Eric Schmidt thinks you shouldn't be doing. But most web users don't even realize Google is hoarding their data.

CNBC asks Schmidt: "People are treating Google like their most trusted friend. Should they be?" But he answers by scoffing at those who don't trust Google at all.

Not that you'd expect anything less. As always, Schmidt's holier-than-thou attitude is wonderfully amusing. Except that it's not. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
Nadella: Apps must run on ALL WINDOWS – PCs, slabs and mobes
Phone egg, meet desktop chicken - your mother
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.