Schmidt, who has previously suggested that teenagers should change their names when they reached adulthood to search engines revealing their youthful indiscretions, has now suggested that people should move house if they are identified in Google Street View.
In an interview with CNN, Schmidt spoke of the public reaction to the camera-mounted vehicles which photograph houses around the world. “Street View, we drive exactly once…. So, you can just move, right?”
Strangely the comment was cut out of the final interview but was unearthed by John Paczkowski from All Things Digital website.
Schmidt has since backed away from his comment. He said that his comments were made during a fairly long back and forth on privacy.
“I clearly misspoke. If you are worried about Street View and want your house removed please contact Google and we will remove it,” he said in an emailed statement.
However, the number of privacy gaffs that Schmidt has made lately seems to be increasing. In fact they are getting so good that he is fast becoming the Prince Phillip of the IT world.
One of his better ones was: “If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.”
In an attempt to relieve people’s fears of the Google Big Brother, he told the Washington Ideas Forum: “We know where you are, we know where you’ve been, we can more or less know what you’re thinking about.”
Yep, that should calm people.
Then he added “Google policy is to get right up to the creepy line and not cross it.”
It looks like he does not so much cross it, as straddle both sides of the road at once and forming a human bridge for chickens to come and go as they please.
Still we note that he does not repeat his gaffs in Germany where they tend to take this sort of thing very seriously. But in quaint backward places where freedom is not considered that important, such as the United States.