Saturday, December 12, 2009

Google's Schmidt Roasted for Privacy Comments - Yahoo! News

A timely Google/privacy reality check

The Electronic Frontier Foundation was not pleased with those remarks, saying that "from protection against shallow embarrassments to the preservation of freedom and human rights," privacy is about more than just hiding wrongdoing. Schmidt's comments, the EFF says, make it seems as though Google doesn't understand that concept.

As Techdirt noted, Schmidt's comments ring familiar with the philosophy that if you aren't doing anything wrong, you have nothing to fear from prying eyes (call it a new spin on "don't be evil").

The problem with that mentality is that even if you're not breaking the law, violations of privacy can be embarrassing or unnerving. EFF's response quotes EFF fellow and BoingBoing editor Cory Doctorow, who in a talk to the American Library Association noted the difference between privacy and a secret. "Every one of us has parents who did at least one private thing that's not a secret, otherwise we wouldn't be here," he said.

Google's Schmidt Roasted for Privacy Comments - Yahoo! News

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