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Google CEO Says Privacy Worries Are For Wrongdoers

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the get-over-it dept.

Google 671

bonch writes "In a surprising statement to CNBC, Google CEO Eric Schmidt told reporter Maria Bartiromo, 'If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place.' This will only fuel concerns about Google's behavior as it becomes an ever more powerful gatekeeper of information; though Google says it is aware of these concerns and has taken steps to be transparent to users about the information that is stored."

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671 comments

Don't be evil? (4, Insightful)

awyeah (70462) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364082)

With that attitude, I guess Google will have to start worrying about privacy!

Re:Don't be evil? (4, Informative)

hitmark (640295) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364338)

sadly, the guy that introduced the "don't be evil" slogan, is long gone from the company...

and with how things are going with android and similar, that's noticeable...

Google=no privacy (5, Informative)

aaaaaaargh! (1150173) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364388)

Google and privacy. You might want to check out this [cnet.com] , this [uneasysilence.com] , this [gcn.com] , or this [google-watch.org] . People also forget that the majority of the world population is not living in the USA. US agencies are allowed to spy on non-US citizens as they like, although this is usually not emphasized for diplomatic reasons. Thus, not only terrorists and wrongdoers should be concerned about their privacy...unless Schmidt thinks that all non-US citizens are terrorists. Foreign governments should actually be much more concerned about Google than they seem to be, but as far as I know only former French president Chirac was concerned about Google and as a politician he turned out to be a wrongdoer [odt.co.nz] , of course. LOL

You can make scroogle [scroogle.org] your search engine of choice although we all know that it helps less than some people might expect, because normally configured browsers leak a lot of information.

Re:Don't be evil? (5, Insightful)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364626)

Seems true enough these days.

Although I'd rather counter their logic with:

I don't want my girlfriend to know I'm buying her a nice set of ear rings for Christmas. I guess I shouldn't be doing it then...

Context? (5, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364084)

First he starts with

Well, I think judgment matters.

Then we get a voice over and a cutaway. Then the snippet in question is suspiciously selected with nothing preceding it. That's his direct quote and it was stupid to say 'maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place' but what was said before it seems to be edited. If the context is search engines (which I think it is), then what he says is true. As in 'if you're looking for ways to murder your husband, maybe you shouldn't be using the Google Search engine to find that information in the first place.' Here's what follows the inflammatory statement:

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

I don't want to sound like a fanboy bending over backwards to absolve Schmidt but I want to point out that the important message people should take away from this is simply that your searches are not private. Your searches leave the premises of your private property. They go to a semi-public resting place where--under the Patriot Act--the government has the ability to access them with little commotion.

I mean, if you enjoy doing something illegal like smoking weed, don't do it in public. You shouldn't be doing it in public in the first place. Do it in the privacy of your own home. If you go to a cafe or place of business and smoke weed, the owner and workers at that cafe might be obligated to call the authorities. Similarly if you're buying weed, don't use the Google search engine to do it.

I would like to hear his whole unedited statement.

Re:Context? (5, Insightful)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364142)

Darn straight. You shouldn't commit vile, illegal, immoral crimes, like Googling for Free Tibet from inside China, and then expect Google to give a damn about what happens to you.

Re:Context? (4, Insightful)

Critical Facilities (850111) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364248)

To be fair, doesn't that fundamentally have more to do with the Chinese government than it does Google? I'm sure there are those who feel that Google should be willing to "stand up" to the Chinese Government, but when you boil it down to the basics, there is nothing obliging Google as a company to engage in this fight.

By the way, before you flame me into oblivion, I am a supporter of a free Tibet, and would love nothing more than to see His Holiness the Dalai Lama returned to his rightful place in Tibet.

Re:Context? (5, Insightful)

RDW (41497) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364502)

'I'm sure there are those who feel that Google should be willing to "stand up" to the Chinese Government, but when you boil it down to the basics, there is nothing obliging Google as a company to engage in this fight.'

I wonder why Google doesn't disclose the search terms they do censor in China? Perhaps they 'don't want anyone to know' because they 'shouldn't be doing it in the first place.'...

Re:Context? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30364258)

You are right, but the statement that he made is completely different that what comes out of the summary. In the summary it reads like if he said that you should just let anyone collect all your personal data, since there can be no harm if you don't do anything wrong/illegal/immoral. What he really said was that if you use google to search for illegal information, you shouldn't be surprised if it lands in the hands of the authorities. We can debate about whether that is good or not and we can debate what should be legal and what shouldn't (and I personally think it's wrong to log anything beyond what is necessary for technical reasons), but the fact remains that the summary is completely misleading.

Re:Context? (4, Insightful)

aurispector (530273) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364170)

The whole concept smacks of intellectual tyranny. The problem as I see it is one of oversight. I don't see electronic paper as any more public than the contents of your briefcase. For some reason government and just about everyone else seems to think that your electronic communications are free game. Why? They need a warrant to tap your phone and tampering with snail mail is a federal crime.

If a government agency wants to look at what you're doing, they should need a search warrant issued by a judge under clearly devised rules of evidence.

Re:Context? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30364194)

You are a moron. Google Search logging the queries is not the problem. Google Analytics is. If I query Google it really isn't that surprising that they know what I am searching for. But they really shouldn't know every single time I visit Slashdot, without even using Google to get there.

And here again the problem is not that I can't protect me against that. I can. The problem is that the vast majority of web users doesn't even know about it.

Re:Context? (4, Insightful)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364266)

Isn't google-analytics shortly after doubleclick in everyone's host file, DNS, adblock, or other filter of choice?

Re:Context? (2, Insightful)

GlennC (96879) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364400)

No...no it isn't.

In my case, it's before doubleclick, but that's not the point. You and I, along with the majority of /. readers, are the ones who not only know how to do it but more importantly we know TO do it.

For the vast majority their Google searches, along with most of their browsing, might just as well be posted on the grocery store bulletin board for all to see.

Re:Context? (2, Informative)

Packet Pusher (231564) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364218)

In video it seems a lot more common sense and a lot less scandal.

http://gawker.com/5419271/google-ceo-secrets-are-for-filthy-people

Basically, Google is subject to the law of the land. Your searches are retained for some time and if you absolutely want to make sure that the information doesn't end up in government hands (via legal methods) then don't search for it.

Simple and truthful advice that any tech savy person would give.

Re:Context? (4, Interesting)

BLKMGK (34057) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364232)

Agreed, IF they are going to edit it to sell hits on their site then it's not news it's crap. Let's hope that someone releases an unedited transcript - Google perhaps? If this guy truly said something so stupid then providing the context to prove it shouldn't be a big deal right? And if in the end he was really that stupid then I think it should be everyone's sworn duty to crawl through any and all information he may have left laying around with a microscope and plaster it in bold headlines all over the place - just to prove a point about privacy :-)

Cue clarifying statement from Google in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1....

Are my searches mine or Google's? (2, Interesting)

tjstork (137384) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364238)

Are the searches your property, or Googles? Really, if, truly, everything you write on the internet is your content, then you should have the right to revoke the distribution of that content. You can't have strong property rights only when it is convenient, you know.

Re:Are my searches mine or Google's? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364624)

Since I came up with the phrase, I'd guess it's my intellectual property. I grant Google the non-exclusive right to use it to search for pages matching that phrase and provide me with results.

So wouldn't storing this phrase kinda violate copyright? Just asking, IANAL.

Re:Context? (3, Interesting)

mrpacmanjel (38218) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364254)

Until we hear the quote *in context* then I think what Mr Schmidt said was bloody obvious!

Most people realise that if a web-type service is offered to you free then it is obvious the company involved is using your data for profit.
How else can they fund the service you are using?

I use google mail and of course use thier search services as well - I am fully aware that my data is being harvested so I am hardly going to something suspect.

Then again you have a *choice* to use Google services or not. But depending how much infrastructure Google want to get involved in will that *choice* become more difficult to take (e.g. DNS)?

If yoy feel strongly about this - use an alternative.

Re:Context? (1)

mugurel (1424497) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364302)

... I want to point out that the important message people should take away from this is simply that your searches are not private. Your searches leave the premises of your private property. They go to a semi-public resting place where--under the Patriot Act--the government has the ability to access them with little commotion.

I'm not sure what kind of place it is my searches go to, but I it is open to discussion what kind of place it *should* be. I would like it to be the same kind of place as the one where my personal information goes when I consult a doctor. Definitely not a semi-public place. (what is a semi-public place actually?)

Re:Context? (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364516)

Yeah, I don't know about the particular quote, but I do think there's a very real distinction between the idea that "only wrongdoers have anything to fear from loss of privacy," and the idea that "if you're extremely troubled by the idea of people finding out what you're doing, maybe you shouldn't be doing it."

The latter idea is... well... it's kind of true. I think that's kind of a decent rule of thumb: Pretend for a second that all the information surrounding what you're about to do because public knowledge. Imagine your parents and spouse and children will all find out about it. Does that worry you a lot? If so, you should at least consider not doing it.

Now, that's not an argument that privacy isn't a good idea. Even if you try to use the rule of thumb I'm advocating, you might consider "not doing it" and decide "no, I'm going to do it." And it's possible that it'll still be a good decision, but just not one you'd want everyone to know about. Or even if you'd theoretically be fine with the idea of all the information being public, it might still be that some of the information, taken out of context, would be embarrassing. People should be allowed to keep some of that information to themselves.

What's more, I don't want to know.

Re:Context? (5, Insightful)

SecurityGuy (217807) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364610)

I mean, if you enjoy doing something illegal like smoking weed, don't do it in public. You shouldn't be doing it in public in the first place. Do it in the privacy of your own home. If you go to a cafe or place of business and smoke weed, the owner and workers at that cafe might be obligated to call the authorities. Similarly if you're buying weed, don't use the Google search engine to do it.

This is an excellent example. If you're buying weed, don't use Google to do it. However, if you're Googling how to buy weed, that doesn't imply that you have, or will, and that's where things like this worry me. I might Google how to buy weed because I want to know how my kids might try to do it, so I can prevent it. I'm reminded of those high profile murder cases (Caylee Anthony springs to mind) where the suspect's computer is searched and they find they searched for something suggestive of the crime. We hear about that. We don't hear that 5,000,000 other people performed that same web search during that period of time, and given that 5,000,000 people didn't turn up dead soon after, we can assume they didn't go off and kill someone.

The problem with invasions of privacy like this isn't so much the release of fact. Ok, so you googled BDSM, to borrow someone else's example. Googling BDSM is relatively innocuous. Oh, but now we're going to assume you are interested in BDSM, or maybe that you participate in it, and that you're a bad person. Dangerous. Not to be trusted around kids and small animals. Shouldn't have a job that exposes you to anyone you might abuse, and in fact, since you have such a job, you should be fired. The problem is the inappropriate leaps from fact to wild, mostly baseless speculation. We can't keep people from making those leaps. We can keep them out of what should be our private affairs.

What about legal but not popular? (4, Insightful)

CanadianRealist (1258974) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364618)

I completely agree with your point about context being very important, but there are many legal things people may search for which they still might not want to be public knowledge.

Suppose you did some searches on atheism, then non-believers were the target of the next witch hunt?

How about looking for information about an STD that you've contracted. Do you want everyone to know about that?

What about questionably illegal activities? Suppose you and your wife decide to try anal sex and search for some advice on avoiding problems. What if you live in a state (not sure there still are any) where that is illegal?

Re:Context? (1)

patch0 (1339585) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364646)

While the context is obviously important and I don't think the one quote he gave is a fair representation of what he was getting at, I can't help thinking about the old argument 'if you've nothing to hide you've nothing to fear', which put another way is 'those who fear persecution should be persecuted' and it seems to me that companies like google need to be extremely delicate in handling these issues to avoid that particular slippery slope....

Herpes? (5, Insightful)

gatkinso (15975) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364120)

Herpes is not a crime, but I bet if you had it you would want to keep that fact private.

Re:Herpes? (3, Funny)

kpainter (901021) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364158)

Herpes is not a crime, but I bet if you had it you would want to keep that fact private.

It is if your girlfriend doesn't know about it.

Re:Herpes? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30364436)

She'll know soon anyways.

Re:Herpes? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30364620)

She'll know soon anyways.

Actually no .. she will not know soon

As a rough generalization, 20% of adults in the US have genital herpes, but of those only 20% actually know. This mainly because it is very hard to accurately diagnose. The symptoms can present themselves as belonging to unrelated diseases. And given that it is not life threatening, does not cause sterility or other major health problems (as per other STDs) doctors don't really go out of their way to diagnose it

Re:Herpes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30364166)

Curious comment...

In many (if not most) states in the USA, a physician is required by law to report any cases of STDs and certain other communicable diseases to the local health authorities in order to track and (theoretically) prevent spreading of the disease.

I am not aware of the requirements in other countries. It would be interesting to compare the requirements of other countries.

Re:Herpes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30364220)

In many (if not most) states in the USA, a physician is required by law to report any cases of STDs and certain other communicable diseases to the local health authorities

Herpes is not a reportable disease in the USA

Re:Herpes? (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364554)

We have the same system in Sweden, but yeah, not for herpes here either.

Don't stop people from being asses and not telling people anyway to save their reputation.

Re:Herpes? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30364168)

Thats not true. I totally have herpes and I feel much better having admitted it.

Re:Herpes? (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364476)

While maybe not here on Slashdot, but out in the real world kinda everyone got herpes or HPV.

I don't see why it would be such a biggie though, kinda expected. And if you think it's a huge deal yourself keeping it private is kinda evil.

Curtains (1)

NickFortune (613926) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364614)

You don't need an embarrassing social disease to have a legitimate desire for privacy. Walk down any residential street: how many of the houses have curtains in the windows?

Clearly these people have things they want to hide. But it's too much of a stretch to say they're therefore dong something wrong.

That said, I too will wait for the un-edited interview before I pass judgement on Mr Schmidy

Privacy for Wrongdoers (5, Insightful)

mdarksbane (587589) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364124)

The problem is that everyone is a wrongdoer by someone's definition.

Re:Privacy for Wrongdoers (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30364226)

Yes, and some are wrongdoers by almost everybody's definition and others are the opposite - if the quote is correct (in itself and in its context) Google has a bright opportunity to lead the pack by putting all their documents etc. on the web for scrutiny.

Re:Privacy for Wrongdoers (1)

aaaaaaargh! (1150173) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364440)

Rather than looking at documents, I'd personally be much more interested in where exactly all of the cables lead that come out of Google's datacenters.

What? (1)

bartyboy (99076) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364540)

Please stop spewing out ridiculous maxims. There is only one definition of a wrongdoer that matters here, and it's defined by the law. You break the law and you can expect some consequences, especially if you leave a record of it. It's simple enough.

The problem is that... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30364566)

...everyone is a criminal by some law's definition.

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30364642)

Laws change ... next year marihuana might be legal and somewhere in the future having sex with men might become illegal (again).

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30364644)

Whose law?

The United States of America? China? Something in between?

Re:Privacy for Wrongdoers (4, Insightful)

sukotto (122876) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364594)

"If you give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him." -- Cardinal Richelieu

Right (4, Insightful)

ilovegeorgebush (923173) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364130)

Privacy isn't about hiding a wrong.


But whatever, by his logic he'd be happy to share his credit card details and the key-code to his security at home?

Re:Right (1)

mayko (1630637) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364300)

Privacy isn't about hiding a wrong.

While I couldn't agree more with you on that... I think it is important to consider that his statements may have just been a disclaimer.

Basically the government expects Google (and any other corp with the ability) to track our search/document/email history... and a little request courtesy of the patriot act forces them to hand over all the info. So what they are saying is "if you're planning on doing something illegal then don't use google-search, because we'll be forced to hand over the info."

This doesn't change the fact that they store all your info for their own use... but they provide their services free of charge in return for your marketing information, this is fair by most people's standards.

It will work only if... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30364140)

I will work only if LE and any others able to obtain said info are all good all the time.

No wonder (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30364180)

No wonder he says that, given that Google is very likely almost a branch of the NSA. (I say almost, because they were funded independently but seem to have very close ties to the NSA since the beginning.) Also, privacy prevents Google from selling all your personal information to advertisers.

Or perhaps.... (5, Insightful)

Pedrito (94783) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364184)

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

Or perhaps if I have something that I don't want anyone to know, it's NONE OF THEIR FUCKING BUSINESS! I'm tired of this presumption of guilt that's become all the rage these days. We really need to get these idiots out of positions of power.

Re:Or perhaps.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30364496)

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

Or perhaps if I have something that I don't want anyone to know, it's NONE OF THEIR FUCKING BUSINESS! I'm tired of this presumption of guilt that's become all the rage these days. We really need to get these idiots out of positions of power.

Your statement doesn't explain why someone should bother to prevent people from seeing whatever you're doing.

Another one in a long row ... (2, Interesting)

Kiliani (816330) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364198)

That's an arrogant statement by Schmidt (and yes, I read the whole thing). How often have we heard the "if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear" argument over the decades? Add Google to that long list - and it's not an honor roll! I guess "Don't be evil" is leaving the building. It was a matter of time, anyway.

It's this kind of attitude... (4, Insightful)

east coast (590680) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364200)

This is the reason that people who want help with social ills are afraid to seek help. A guy who has a problem with drugs or alcohol or a less-than-ideal medical issue are afraid, at the very least, of the stigma of what will be associated with them if they come out to find proper help. It would be nice to think that the internet could be a place for these people to take a first step towards recovery but even those who supposedly do no evil aren't willing to give these people a bit of wiggle room to find themselves the kinds of assistance that they need.

Re:It's this kind of attitude... (5, Interesting)

2obvious4u (871996) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364656)

Drugs and alcohol are easy to find treatment for. Try finding a sympathetic ear if your struggling with child pornography, or worse, contemplating molesting a child; but would like to seek help because you know its wrong. There is plenty of help for the victims of abuse, but no help for would be abusers looking for someone to help them stop. All that you will find for those people is a crowd waiting to stone them or put them in jail for life.

In other words, there are no private citizens (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30364210)

Everyone has "opted in" to be subjected to the same 24x7 scrutiny and commentary previously reserved to politicians and celebrities, thanks largely to the path blazed by Google in its ambitions for world domination (um, service - sorry).

Had Google not moved so quickly and in such a non-reflective manner, chances are societies would've had a chance to have debates on the issue of privacy before the horse had left the barn. Now, the answer will be that it doesn't much matter what laws are passed, millions of web surfers have developed habits and expectations.

Same old fallacy (5, Insightful)

SecurityGuy (217807) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364216)

It's an obvious fallacy. The old "You have nothing to worry about if you're doing nothing wrong" argument rests on a belief in perfect justice. You'll only be punished for things which you shouldn't be doing. However, history is riddled with examples of people doing and being things for which they should not be punished, but are. Like black, gay, catholic and/or protestant in Northern Ireland, Jewish, a journalist anywhere the state doesn't want its secrets told, etc. It assumes punishments fit the crimes, which in many cases they obviously don't, like becoming a registered sex offender for peeing on a tree in a world where you can kill someone without becoming a registered murderer. You have nothing to worry about if you're not doing anything anyone in the world considers wrong.

News flash: You -are- doing something someone in the world considers wrong.

This is a flawed argument (4, Insightful)

Max Romantschuk (132276) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364224)

There are lots of things which are perfectly legal yet something one would prefer to keep private.

My favorite example is a primary school teacher who happens to like BDSM sex. People who are into this adhere to the Safe, sane and consensual [wikipedia.org] principle. (Note: NSFW image in Wikipedia article.) In short, whatever happens happens between consenting adults.

Yet I'd wager that given the average primary school class at least one of the parents will throw a fit if they find the kids' teacher is "a sick pervert".

So no, it's not as simple as simply abstaining from anything you wouldn't like other people to know. This is an extreme example, but I'm sure other people can come up with more subtle ones if need be.

Re:This is a flawed argument (1)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364546)

There are lots of things which are perfectly legal yet something one would prefer to keep private.

There was an example of this in richmond, VA 3 years or so ago. There was an art teacher here who was using his Ass to paint pictures and actually sell on the Internet [1]. He had a video of his process on youtube, but in that video he wore a disguise, used a pseudonym and generally tried to disconnect himself from his professional life. However it all came to light and he was hounded out of his job. See this article [washingtonpost.com] in the Washington Post.

[1] Its his choice to call it Art. But then again I have a painting on my wall from a famous US pornstar who painted her tits and impressed them on paper - see her [NSFW [2]??] catalogue here [anniesprinkle.org]

[2] Is nude art NSFW? What about the nudes by the old masters?

Re:This is a flawed argument (4, Insightful)

gutnor (872759) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364564)

Don't need to go that far.
I'm sure in lot of places, being gay, having the wrong faith, vote for the wrong party, read the wrong book, ... would label you a "sick pervert".

Anyway under the same assumptions, why should voting be kept private ? After all you have nothing to hide - and there is really nothing you would do in the voting booth that could be considered illegal ...

Re:This is a flawed argument (1)

twostix (1277166) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364604)

"My favorite example is a primary school teacher who happens to like BDSM sex. People who are into this adhere to the Safe, sane and consensual principle. (Note: NSFW image in Wikipedia article.) In short, whatever happens happens between consenting adults."

From that link:

"Other people in the BDSM community do not consider SSC to be an accurate term for these relationships/activities. The term Risk Aware Consensual Kink (RACK) is sometimes used as a substitute description."

You know western society has jumped the shark when buzzword bingo and mindless corporate doublespeak and pedantic arguments about meaningless acronyms has even managed to invade our bedrooms.

Also I'm just going to put it out there that I only clicked that link *after* reading that it had a NSFW image.

Bit of a let down, just saying...

Not this again (5, Informative)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364230)

"If you've got nothing to hide" is a tool of tyranny. I thought it was well and truly debunked, and yet it seems it just won't flush away.

Individual privacy doesn't need a reason. The goal of privacy is privacy.

If you're going to search for something that you don't want google spunking up 5 years later, to your post democratic, tyrant overlords, you better start taking precautions.
This is a start. https://ssl.scroogle.org/ [scroogle.org]

Re:Not this again (1)

base3 (539820) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364310)

I'd be completely unsurprised if it were to come out later that some party interested in what people with "something to hide" search for is behind Scroogle. That said, I pump my (pretty much innocuous) searches through it--but if you are serious about privacy, I'd hit it through TOR from a sanitized (or better yet minimal, a la lynx) browser as well.

Re:Not this again (1)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364470)

I should probably add http://www.optimizegoogle.com/ [optimizegoogle.com] which is more relevant to everyday privacy than say TOR.

If you are a Noscript user, be SURE to un-whitelist google.com otherwise the "remove click tracking" won't work.
Do this for your mother, father, sister and granny too. Not only does the click tracking give away to google which link you picked, but it adds up to 1/2 a second to each click-through.

Isn't this..... (-1, Troll)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364234)

Isn't this the kind of reasoning that the neocons use when confronted about wiretapping and such? "You have nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide."

Re:Isn't this..... (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364316)

> Isn't this the kind of reasoning that the neocons use when confronted about
> wiretapping and such?

Yes. The "Left" on the other hand, explains that the government is here to help you and needs to know all about you in order to give you the help it has determined that you need (whether you want it or not).

Mr. Schmidt's financial details are online where? (5, Insightful)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364252)

> Eric Schmidt told reporter Maria Bartiromo, 'If you have something that you
> don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first
> place.'

Has a Webcam in his bedroom, does he? I can find his medical records with a Google search? Everything he says at board meetings is published?

Re:Mr. Schmidt's financial details are online wher (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364514)

Yeah, this statement is going to come back and bite him.

(And no, I’m not suggesting he’ll make any private information about himself public. I’m just pretty sure he’ll quickly realise precisely how stupid his comment was.)

Google is the symptom. (3, Insightful)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364262)

Google is just a victim of laws that we as citizens let eat away at our privacy. Google cant withold information that the governments asks for if it doesnt have any support in law.

Its also easy to forget that Google is just one player, ask yourself what other information is readily avaliable except internet logs? Utilities, water, credit receipts, health records, travels etc etc. Even if you could be 100% anonymous on the internet your private life is still non existent.

The problem is that privacy has been abolished everywhere and people just dont seem to care about it. History repeats itself, again and again...

Counter example... (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364286)

Me, and just about everyone else I know.

While we may or may not have done something wrong, this most likely will not be revealed by our search histories. I like privacy because I enjoy my privacy. That's all there is too it. Why do I need to want to hide something so Google doesn't know about it?

I'm sick of Google. Is there an alternative search engine that might have some concept of privacy rights?

Partially true (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364298)

I suspect that for many of us, there are two kinds of Google searches we do that we don't want public:

(1) Things that we wouldn't want our mothers to know about.

(2) Things we wouldn't want our employers, potential insurance companies, or dictatorial governments to know about.

It sounds like the Google guy is throwing out the baby with the bathwater. He might have a point about (1), but his comment also seems to dismiss (2), and that's a real problem.

Fundemental misunderstdg about how democracy works (1, Flamebait)

AbbeyRoad (198852) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364304)

The purpose of privacy is to protect the people who are protecting the public
from governments.

Governments are the biggest evil, and therefore our society needs privacy.

It is not criminals who are the biggest threat to society.

By dissalowing privacy, it becomes impossible for institutions like the press to
hold governments accountable.

Democracy functions on the pillars of human rights not only because of moral
concerns, but because those pillars are necessary cogs in the social machine.

- Right to privacy
- Freedom of press
- One man one vote
- Separation of church and state
- Term limits
- Independence of the supreme court
etc.

Remove any of these pillars and democracy stops working.

A recent example is George W Bush - America blurred the line between
church and state by electing someone purely because he stood against
abortion... elected in spite of the fact that he had no other positive attributes
besides being a devout Christian. ...and look what happened.

-paul

Privacy debate for dummies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30364312)

Privacy debate for dummies:

Supposition: You are only concerned about privacy in matters that are clandestine, evil, or shameful.

Negation: You have a penis? Is your penis a terrorist? Is it defective? Are you ashamed of it? Even if you answered no to the last three questions, I highly doubt you want details of your c*ck becoming a matter of public record.

It's as simple as that.

Hey Eric! (1)

Uzik2 (679490) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364324)

I want video of you having sex on the internet. I want your home phone number, social security number, and address too. After all, you have nothing to hide because you're not doing anything wrong.

Privacy (1)

mrpacmanjel (38218) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364340)

As far as I am aware privacy is a *fundemantal* right of any citizen.

My house is in a "public" place with everyone else but within the confines of my home is totally my business no one elses.

Same thing with the internet - you can use "public" services or an alternative that would respect your privacy - there is always encryption too.

Schmidt's comments I imagine is in context of using Google services.

Re:Privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30364454)

And privacy isn't something that you either have or have not. There are several levels of privacy. Things only I know about me. Things only my family knows about me. Things only my girlfriend knows about me. Things only the stranger I saw at the bus today knows about me.

In the real world there really is hardly much as public as Google makes it. There are lots of people who know something about you. There are only very few that know much about you. And there is no one that knows everything about you.

While the sum of knowledge is the same there really is a world of difference between a single entity knowing everything you did today, and the combined knowledge of hundreds of people you see today.

In other news (1)

Mattskimo (1452429) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364348)

Google CEO Eric Schmidt posts social security number, credit card number, his home address,details of where his children go to school etc etc on google.com homepage. Yeah I thought not.

wow (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364380)

For the first time, I think that they have taken a step towards being like MS.

Hmmm. Maybe it is time to take a little closer look at Google.

Re:wow (1)

pmontra (738736) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364582)

For the first time, I think that they have taken a step towards being like MS.

Maybe they just overtook MS.

Done nothing wrong; be afraid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30364398)

1984 meets Neuromancer

Laughable (1)

TheNinjaroach (878876) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364402)

This is a laughably lame argument. It's the same one spouted over and over again by authorities who want to push the envelope when it comes to our privacy.

He's gotta be 'vanilla' then.... (1)

Raxxon (6291) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364424)

Seriously, in the US it's expected that you're going to hide your pr0n. If you're not into "just the normal in-out, in-out" then you're REALLY going to want to hide it.

And what about the children? Won't someone think of the children looking at your pr0n? :p

Nice, Eric (1)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364442)

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

Taken out of context this group might scan what you're saying, but keep in mind an unfortunate percentage of your adult audience can't find Australia on a map.

We know what you meant, but it's really okay to pause during an interview to give yourself a second to think. There's a natural tendency to keep talking when the red light is on.

Yes and... (1)

Efialtis (777851) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364450)

Yes, wrongdooers have privacy issues, and so do the rest of us. Google isn't winning any friends over this statement...

Nothing to hide? (5, Interesting)

jhhdk (1120433) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364460)

Same false argument has been put forward to defend of CCTV.
I prefer to shit in privacy, but it seems Eric Schmidt doesn't.

He should read this article.

Solove, Daniel J., 'I've Got Nothing to Hide' and Other Misunderstandings of Privacy. San Diego Law Review, Vol. 44, 2007; GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 289. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=998565 [ssrn.com]

Do not be alarmed! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30364498)

Google will do no harm.
Google is the uber employer.
Google is not like old fashioned corporations.
Google, Google, Google; see, it's even fun to say.
Google uses the Linux.

You wankers.

And upon hearing this... (1)

denalione (133730) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364526)

I changed my default search engine to (shudder) bing.com. I hate having to choose between fecal matter and something that stinks really bad.

Thank Your, Mr. Schmidt. (3, Interesting)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364542)

I have long suspected that you and your company were, in fact, completely evil and not deserving of the hype surrounding you, nor the trust placed in you. I will now no longer be using my Gmail account, which I have had for years. The few things which are still sent there regularly, I will be changing to send to another address on my personal mail server. I will continue not responding to Voice and Wave invites. I will no longer be logging into Google for search results, nor will be accepting cookies from you, and as soon as I can find a reasonable search engine to replace you, I will not be coming back.

At least this will give me something to do this morning.

He's just citing an old chinese saying. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30364574)

He's just citing an old chinese saying.

Privacy is for wrongdoers, like Founding Fathers? (2, Insightful)

davidwr (791652) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364578)

I wonder how Thomas Paine, George Washington, and the rest felt about the need for privacy and secrecy in late 1776?

I wonder how those running the Underground Railroad felt about the need for privacy prior to the end of legal American slavery?

I wonder how those who have "alternative lifestyles" feel about keeping certain facts away from their employers and family members?

I wonder how Google's employees and executives would feel if Human Resources records were open to the world?

Privacy is for everyone.

DUH! (1)

EMG at MU (1194965) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364584)

All he is saying is that if you want complete privacy you shouldn't be using the cloud or internet services. Everyone already knows this. Apply a real world scenario:
You are a criminal, and you don't want to be found. Intuitively you would not open a checking account under your real name, get a membership at the local fitness club, or do anything else that someone looking for you will use to find you.

How is Google any different? They have to abide by laws, that means surrendering user data when required legally by law enforcement (illegally is an entirely different matter). If you want complete privacy, don't use google. I never ever for one second think that what I type and send across the internet is private, unless it is explicitly said so and the connection is encrypted. I think that its pretty common sense to assume so.

Rediculous (1)

GottMitUns (1012191) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364592)

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

If I was just about to take the major shit, ahem, maybe I shouldn't.

I don't mind... (1)

v4vijayakumar (925568) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364608)

I don't mind when they tend to display ads that I want to see, but it is really a problem when they start doing what I am planning to do.

First do no evil (1)

CharlieG (34950) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364632)

Guess it wasn't a motto, but a command to us to follow, then we have nothing to hide, eh?

follow him around and post everything he does (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30364648)

Someone should follow him around and post everything he does. After all if he doesn't want everyone to know then he shouldn't be doing it. Get pictures of his children going to and from school. After all if he didn't want that information public he shouldn't send his kids to school. Go through his garbage and post everything he eats and every magazine he reads and every piece of junk mail he receives (including any interesting adult video catalogs he gets).

I guarantee you that anyone who got to be at that level in a corp has several skeletons in his closet just waiting to be shown the light of day.

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