Google CEO Eric Schmidt has set the Internet on fire with his latest speech. During his talk, he touched on privacy concerns of everyday users. Apparently, Google has grown so big that they have forgotten exactly what it was they set out to DO in the first place. Mr. Schmidt claims that only those who have done something wrong – or have something to hide – should ever be concerned about their privacy.
As someone who has been working in malware removal for more than six years now, I felt my mouth hit the floor when I read this bit of news earlier. I was completely astounded that someone would make a statement like this – never mind someone of his stature. If I am to take him at his word, I have nothing to worry about. I haven’t committed a criminal act. I have nothing to “hide”. Therefore – I suppose I can just trash all of my security programs, my passwords and just throw my social security number on my blog!
I don’t think so! Has Mr. Schmidt completely lost his mind? How can he even begin to think that we have nothing to worry about?? Have you seen what he had to say?
If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place. 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.
People such as the folks at Mozilla are so enraged by this that they are making a switch away from even using or recommending Google. In a writeup, the Mozilla team has encouraged their supporters to make a switch to Bing. This is a very large step for them to take. Google has been the search engine for Firefox for years. Also, Google has been a primary financial supporter of Mozilla for a long time now.
I’m waiting to see what other fallout there may be from this completely insane commentary by Mr. Schmidt. I’m curious to see how soon we’ll see some type of retraction, as well.