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Schmidt: "If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place."  (View post)

DPic [PersonRank 10]

Saturday, December 5, 2009
9 years ago9,168 views

gawker.com/5419271/google-ceo- ...

<<Eric Schmidt suggests you alter your scandalous behavior before you complain about his company invading your privacy. That's what the Google CEO told Maria Bartiromo during CNBC's big Google special last night, an extraordinary pronouncement for such a secretive guy.>>

Above 1 comments were made in the forum before this was blogged,

Inferno [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

"If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place."

Agreed!

DPic [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

Was that a joke?

Inferno [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

Both yes and no... :P

I mean just as much as I care about privacy I also think that most of things people want to hide are a result of their guilt. BTW, I said "most" not "all".

James Xuan [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

His thoughts on anonymity mirror those of Marissa Mayer in her Digg Dialogg with Kevin Rose. How disturbing.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

> I mean just as much as I care about privacy I also think
> that most of things people want to hide are a result of their guilt.

That depends a lot on your government – you may have a lot of reasons to hide something from a corrupt government jailing people for all the wrong reasons (being gay, speaking your mind freely on the politics, certain religions, creating certain art and what not have all been prosecuted in certain countries at certain times). And keep in mind that even a good gov't of today may turn worse tomorrow – the data collection would then not be the source of the problem, but it could worsen the bad effect of a corrupt gov't, right?

Additionally, social pressure may sometimes convince us not to speak our minds, which is when anonymity may be useful. Maybe there is something that you believe in, but you don't want to risk your career over saying it – you'd rather get the point across anonymously, which may have the same effect in terms of the argument itself, but personally stay out of the line of fire as a person. You may even want to stay anonymous because you as a person are so well-known that your points would get lost in what you wanted to say (or will get attacked twice as sharply and perhaps unfairly just because it's you). Bloggers and journalists also respect a source which wants to remain anonymous in stories (they may decide not to quote the source's information, but sometimes they will do, e.g. after two other anonymous sources stated the same observations, or if they understand the source to be very reliable).

dpneal [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

I think they are just being honest. And I kind of agreed with them. But there will always be a place to store your private data. Just like there is in the physical world.

Roger Browne [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

There is a paradox of privacy.

If a society is to comfortably accommodate anonymous free speech (online or offline), that society must adapt in certain ways.

For example, a politically-oppressive government cannot tolerate anonymous free speech. To be anonymous-speech-friendly, that government must drop its political oppression.

Once you have a society that comfortably accommodates anonymous free speech, the citizens of that society no longer need to exercise that right (because they have nothing to fear by being non-anonymous).

So there's the paradox: if you have the right to anonymous free speech, you don't need it, and if you don't have it you need it!

Roger Browne [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

I see that Philipp posted a similar comment in the DNS thread:
blogoscoped.com/forum/164296.h ...

mike ross [PersonRank 0]

9 years ago #

There are plenty of legimitate needs for privacy – even though what one may be doing is not illegal, an activity can still generate terrible repercussions for someone. Tiger Woods is a great example. What's going on with Woods is between him and his wife, but now everyone knows. This is mostly fueled by the public's need for celebrity freak shows.

There are also critical needs for privacy, such as a battered wife who has taken her children underground to escape her husband.

It's better if Google and the Government let people define their own needs for privacy and stop making moral pronouncements about whether people should/should not be doing certain things.

Guillaume [PersonRank 1]

9 years ago #

Philip said: "Bloggers and journalists also respect a source which wants to remain anonymous in stories".

Here I fear you have to add "Good" or "Ethical" as an adjective to "bloggers and journalists".

About privacy, I think kids (and grownups) should first learn to never ever give their real name to their computer. They do like this in those countries where privacy is not so secured. I do not care too much if Google megabot keeps track of me because Google megabot do not know my name.

Juha-Matti Laurio [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

Back to 2005:
money.cnn.com/2005/08/05/techn ...

Andy Wong [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

Privacy: to be or not to be, ...

wonder [PersonRank 3]

9 years ago #

Privacy and secrecy are not synonyms.

wonder [PersonRank 3]

9 years ago #

papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cf ...

'I've Got Nothing to Hide' and Other Misunderstandings of Privacy

Abstract:
In this short essay, written for a symposium in the San Diego Law Review, Professor Daniel Solove examines the nothing to hide argument. When asked about government surveillance and data mining, many people respond by declaring: "I've got nothing to hide." According to the nothing to hide argument, there is no threat to privacy unless the government uncovers unlawful activity, in which case a person has no legitimate justification to claim that it remain private. The nothing to hide argument and its variants are quite prevalent, and thus are worth addressing. In this essay, Solove critiques the nothing to hide argument and exposes its faulty underpinnings.

Libran Lover [PersonRank 4]

9 years ago #

These statements by Google execs are very disturbing and extremely discouraging.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

> In this short essay, written for a symposium in the San Diego
> Law Review, Professor Daniel Solove examines the nothing to
> hide argument.

Here's the PDF:

+ Show PDF

Tom [PersonRank 0]

9 years ago #

So when is google releasing searches by eric and marissa? I bet they didnt search anything they want to hide from others.

Ernst Fuld [PersonRank 1]

9 years ago #

The Dutch professor B.Jacobs allways replies when someone states on the privacydiscussion 'I've Got Nothing to Hide' with the question "When did you masturbate and how did you do it?"

So the question to Schmidt should be the same...

Inferno [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

I know what you meant Philipp... I totally agree with your reply... but I was thinking of something greater (and maybe far from possibility, due to human nature) here... "iff" the govt. are the culprits, it should be fought rather than jailing our data...

But still I agree with you 110% :D

Andrew Barker [PersonRank 0]

9 years ago #

People don't make comments like Schmidt's unless they feel invulnerable themselves. Schmidt is now the CEO of one of the most powerful companies on the planet. He has monetary, political, and legal security. He is ready now to "be evil" precisely because he no longer feels vulnerable himself. His statenent is excactly the kind of comment authoritarian governments make about there surveillance policies. I would like to hear from Page and Brin on Schmidt's comments, particularly Brin whose family emigrated from Russia in part because of it's authoritarian government. Is Shmidt in charge at Google or Page and Brin? Will he be reprimanded? Or is he even invulnerable with the two major share holders? It is very true that the "patriot act" forces Google to release information about people the government wants to follow, but no one forces Google to keep as much information as it does. I am very willing to give up a number of features and applications if it means better privacy.

joerg kreger [PersonRank 0]

9 years ago #

You SAID IT.

Juha-Matti Laurio [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

Let's share Bruce Schneier's response here too:
schneier.com/blog/archives/200 ...

John Hyde Jr [PersonRank 0]

9 years ago #

Why do people think when they do things in public, they expect privacy?

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

> Why do people think when they do things in
> public, they expect privacy?

Do you consider your emails, things you say to GOOG-411, things you say in Google Talk, things you search for in Google, things you type in Google Docs documents to share with your boss, etc., to be public or private?

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

Mozilla community coordinator Asa Dotzler writes:

"I think that the thing that bothers me most about Google CEO Eric Schmidt's comment is that it makes clear that he simply doesn't understand privacy. That a company with so much user data on its servers is led by someone who just doesn't understand privacy is really scary to me and it should be scary to you as well."
weblogs.mozillazine.org/asa/ar ...

.. to then go on to tell people how to switch from Google to Bing in Firefox, arguing that Bing has a better privacy policy.
weblogs.mozillazine.org/asa/ar ...

The Electronic Frontier Foundation also weighs in on the matter, saying that "Google, governments, and technologists need to understand more broadly that ignoring privacy protections in the innovations we incorporate into our lives not only invites invasions of our personal space and comfort, but opens the door to future absues of power."
eff.org/deeplinks/2009/12/goog ...

Tun Lin Soe (Singapore) [PersonRank 0]

9 years ago #

It is complicated to talk about privacy. But we should maintain purity of our mind.

James [PersonRank 0]

9 years ago #

> Why do people think when they do things in public, they expect privacy?

Specifically, Google will index URLs mentioned only in a private Google Talk session twitter.com/erikarn/status/656 ... "notices that mentioning an test-only URL in a gtalk session == crawled instantly by googlebot. God damnit guys.."

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