Google chief: Only miscreants worry about net privacy
'If you don't want anyone to know, don't do it'
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. ®
has to be a reciprocal event. If Google and the government want to know everything about me, then I should know everything about them. The problem (for me) isn't about my privacy, it's about their closely guarded secrets.
Relationships are built on trust, an open and frank exchange of knowledge. Raw climate data, expenses, click ads, SEOs, national security, secrecy, torturing suspects, fostering a culture of fear and suspicion, etc.
What they (and we all know who 'they' are), want, is a one sided, them calling the shots, position of dominance.
That's why we (should) fight for our privacy. I'll be nakedly open with you when I trust you.
And Google, how many Chinese dissidents have you given up to their government when asked, and for what purported crimes?
Schmidt can pull up your entire search history, yet you can't pull up his. It appears to me that the people who say this are always on the best side of information asymmetry.
You see it with politicians too, they have their car number plates hidden, their emails protected by law, their childrens details withheld from Choicepoint, and presume (mistakenly) that their conversations are protected from warrant less search. When someone starts listing their home details, or their husbands video rentals and they freak. Why did they not protect others privacy???
The Bernanke thing, he promises he'll tell congress how he's spent *their* bailout money, but then refuses to let them audit the Federal Reserve and starts talking like he's the elected president!... That's the power of information, how much is something worth? It depends on what Bernanke decides its worth, he talks that way, because that's the power that the information asymmetry gives him.
Then there's the odd police thing, snap some undercover cops in Switzerland and it's an international incident, yet they snap you all the time.
DNA won't be collected from Parliament, yet they statistically are more likely to match the unsolved crimes, than people who have been arrested and screened and found to be clean. As long as they believe the symmetry favours them,they are happy.
Only an idiot insults a powerful person's incompetence then expects them to be fair when you deal with them. Ever talked shit to your boss? Was he nice at review time? Of course not!
Yahoo doesn't want you to know what it charges the police to give them all your emails. You don't have secrets, but they don't want you to know they've kept all this info....
All cases of people defending the informational asymmetry that gives them the edge, asserting that you must have something to hide if you disagree with THEM knowing that information.
Me thinks they protest too much. BTW, what is Erics Schmidt's home address?
Rage overwhelms rational, reasonable, and eloquent response.
Eric Schmidt, go fuck yourself.
Normally, I would not even post something like this; it is crass and unsophisticated. I would wait to let the anger subside. But I am not ashamed of myself for thinking it, nor for posting it. And now you can Google it.
Paris, crass and unsophisticated.