Google boss: 'Creeped out by Street View? Just move'
Latest Schmidt gaffe vanished by CNN
Google CEO Eric Schmidt has said that if you don't like Google Street View cars photographing your house, you can "just move."
“Street View. We drive exactly once,” Schmidt said during an appearance on CNN's “Parker Spitzer" late last week. “So, you can just move, right?”
Schmidt's words were broadcast across the net on Friday, but they've been edited from the video now available on the CNN website. Before it was edited out, the moment was reported by The Wall Street Journal.
After he unloaded that "just move" bit, there was an exchange between Schmidt and show cohost Kathleen Parker, and then Schmidt laughed. So, says The Journal, it's unclear whether the comment was meant as a joke.
In August, Schmidt famously told The Journal that every young person will be entitled to automatically change their names when they reach adulthood in order to escape all the embarrassing stuff they did on social networking sites. And though the paper said this claim was made "apparently seriously," Schmidt later told the satirical US news program The Colbert Report that the statement was "a joke."
On the CNN program, as he continued to discuss Street View, Schmidt added that “the important point is we only do it once” and that “this is not a monitoring situation.”
CNN tells AllThingsDigital that Google did not ask it to remove the Street View exchange. And Google released a statement to The Journal explaining Schmidt's words.
"The point Eric was making is that our Street View service provides only a static picture in time, and doesn’t provide real-time imagery or provide any information about where people are," the company said. "Of course, we also allow users to request that their home be removed from Street View.”
Earlier this month, Schmidt said that Google's policy is "to get right up to the creepy line and not cross it" — which was just the most prominent example of Schmidt getting right up to the creepy line and leaping across it with abandon. In December, Schmidt told CNBC that if you're concerned about Google retaining your personal data, then you must be doing something you shouldn't be doing. He later said much the same about internet anonymity. And more recently, he told a Washington audience: "We know where you are. We know where you’ve been. We can more or less know what you’re thinking about.”
During his CNN appearance, those last words were tossed back at Schmidt by Kathleen Parker and her fellow show host, former New York attorney general and governor Elliot Spitzer. Schmidt responded with a defense of the company's data-retention policies. As on The Colbert Show, Schmidt claimed that Google "forgets" your searches after a certain amount of time — but his discussion of Google's policies don't quite stand up to scrutiny, which only exacerbates the creepiness issue.
You can see Schmidt's (edited) appearance here:
"We keep the searches that you do for roughly a year, year and a half, and then we forget them," Schmidt told Parker and Spitzer. But according to official policy, Google erases the last octet of a user's IP address from its server logs after nine months, and it removes cookie data after 18 months with a one-way cryptographic hash. The policy was announced in the fall of 2008, and it was implemented sometime before November of 2009.
Next page: Uh, forgets?
When your "jokes" make people scared and uncomfortable, it's probably time to stop telling "jokes".
FAIL - AVOID
Jesus christ when will people learn to avoid this company?
a Company POLICY of getting right up to the Creepy line?
Shit, that is a scary company, and scary bunch of people running it.
Think about your own company, and how they fall short or vastly exceed their goals at different times. Google is BOUND TO CROSS the CREEPY Line if insists on dancing on it. That they refuse to see this, or can't is scary either way. A third option I suppose is Google damn well knows what they are doing and doesn't care. Their deliberate spying actions on people's unsecured wireless networks was proof of how far these creeps will go.
Don't care if this was meant to be humorous, this guy has to realize he is costing google shareholders big $ when he mouths off and makes seemingly true people's fears about his company.
And I'm tired of this BS argument of only the guilty need fear Google or the Govt / Big Brother.
Why do people not see the fear of an organization knowing anything about you? Because EVERYONE has beliefs and opinions that are objectionable to SOMEONE. If someone is collecting that information then they can share it, or it can be taken. No matter who you are if you have any strong convictions, then you have opponents who feel the opposite way.
Ask Jews that survived through WWII Germany if you still don't get the link.
A Burner VM.
You know, periodically people do have reasons to take a few simple precautions. I do serve as intermediary to periodically funnel information to Cyrptome. I prefer to never shuffle the goods in the same way twice...and that requires doing a little bit of research each time. I devote a reasonable amount of my spare time to setting up censor-busting systems for folks stuck behind the Great Firewall of China. Again, I would prefer that the details of what I am looking up as well as the e-mail counts and online webspace purchases be as untraceable as is humanly possible.
Sometimes I do a vanity search: I spend a lot of time on the internet and I am professionally curious about my “footprint.” It helps me advise people about how to do things like Internet marketing. Tor allows me to look at this “footprint” from multiple different countries – in essence bypassing Google’s geolocation. Shock and awe: I sometimes look up old acquaintances as well: see how they are doing, maybe try to find an e-mail or Facebook page. I would really rather that Google not be associating me with “the people I know” any more than *I* personally choose.
I participate in my local political scene…enough to want to keep much of that to myself. I am fairly certain my current government has next to no scruples and I since I am pretty left wing, when I go searching for evidence that ends up political documents or propaganda then I really don’t need my right-wing government even having a snowball’s chance in a neutron star of finding out who is supplying the research time.
Beyond that, there is simply a large amount of Google thwarting. Google have made an entire business out of knowing everything. Small as it is, a drop of water in the ocean maybe, I do have the tiny little bud of an ego. For whatever bizarre reason, that ego gets a real kick out of thwarting Schmidt even the tiniest bit. Adding some noise to their signal.
As to trusting Bing…oddly, I do. Google has proven to me over and over and over that they will sell you to the lowest bidder at the drop of a hat. Then they’ll sell you to the highest bidder…and everyone else in between. Bing is run by Microsoft. Microsoft might well make me pay some astronomical amount. They might code something so poorly that someone else might find a way to “hack” it…but I seriously doubt they’d sell my information to a third party. Their biggest card right now to individuals or businesses is “we’re not Google! Look how not creepy we are!” They’re going to dine on that for as long as people are creeped out by the privacy monglers at the chocolate factory.
For the most part though, even if Joe Spammer manages to find out that I personally ran a search for ‘+Europa +Surface +Radiation’ or ‘+Ibuprofen +”blood brain barrier” +”traversal rate”’ I don’t care. That’s random enough and harmless enough they can go nuts with it. I am entirely unsure what value that could have to an advertiser (beyond maybe legitimately advertising me things I might want.) It is of zero use to a government.
If you want to call the above paranoid, then I am paranoid. I accept that. I simply don’t trust Google. They have lost that trust. I also don’t trust the Canadian, American, British, Australian and virtually every third-world or developing government out there. It is distinctly in their best interest to quash dissent, intimidate folk who might consider speaking out against them and otherwise being dicks. Even though I personally would not present much of a threat, I do devote time towards doing a lot of research on behalf of folks who might well seem it to their governments.
People who want to (for example) figure out how to emigrate from China into Canada with the least amount of hassle, or who want to make sure information about some tragedy in Zimbabwe makes it to the press.
So screw Google’s all-seeing eye. Even if the whole world calls me paranoid for it.