Eric Schmidt, Google CEO and soon to be Chairman has made a number of interesting and often controversial statements about privacy.
First the latest one, today in a review of Steven Levy’s new book In The Plex, the New York Times highlighted an excerpt where Schmidt asked Google to remove search results about a political donation he had made.
From In The Plex:
One day Denise Griffin got a call from Schmidt’s assistant. “There’s this information about Eric in the indexes,” she told Griffin. “And we want it out.” In Griffin’s recollection, it dealt with donor info from a political campaign, exactly the type of public information that Google dedicated itself to making accessible. Griffin explained that it wasn’t Google policy to take things like that out of the index just because people didn’t want it there. After she hung up the phone, she freaked out. Doesn’t Eric know that we don’t do that?
She called her boss, Sheryl Sandberg, and they had several conversations before they finally trudged up to Eric’s office and told him it wasn’t Google’s job–nor should it be–to filter his personal information.
While Google’s official saying is that the “company is fully committed to respecting the privacy of others,” Schmidt has seemingly contradicted that, at one time saying “There’s what I call the creepy line,” he said at an event at the Newseum. “The Google policy on a lot of things is to get right up to the creepy line and not cross it.”
Schmidt also offered advice about how to protect your online privacy:
He told CNBC Anchor Maria Bartiromo, on the cable network’s recent special “Inside the Mind of Google,” that people who have something to hide shouldn’t be doing things online that might potentially expose them if law enforcement seeks access to their search histories.
“If you’ve something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place,” said Schmidt.