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December 07, 2009

Hoo Boy: Google CEO Says Secrets and Privacy Are Just For Dirty Filthy People

This statement is taken out of full context. But -- the question posed is whether people should trust Google, specifically, or treat it as their "friend." Like, should you be writing certain private emails using gmail? Should you trust Gmail as if it were a confidant? Should you search for naughty stuff on their search engines, assuming confidentiality?

Now, given that question, which could have been answered with a simple "Of course Google will protect your privacy to the extent possible," the CEO here chooses instead to riff on the idea that basically everything that transpires in cyberspace is an open secret just waiting to come out.

He answered:

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

That seems like a strange answer to me, and a worrisome one. It may be true. It may be a bit of The Shape of Things to Come prognostication about the future -- no more secrets, and you'd better get used to living an open and transparent life.

But a very odd answer for someone whose business provides search engines and an email service which one presumes to be sort of private.

Gawker has a lot of fun noting that this particular guy blacklisted CNET for posting private information about his salary and other stuff on the internet, and seems to have more female companionship than his looks, or his marital status, would warrant, and so this statement -- if you don't want private stuff outed, don't do stuff you don't want outed -- seems curious in the extreme.

Thanks to WTFCI.



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posted by Ace at 02:52 PM

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