Linked by David Adams on Fri 11th Dec 2009 01:25 UTC
Privacy, Security, Encryption I was reminded of Sun Microsystems' Scott McNealy's infamous sound byte (used as the title of this article) when I read about Google CEO Eric Schmidt's foot-in-mouth moment during a recent CNBC interview (YouTube Link). Here's what Schmidt said: "I think judgment matters. If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place. If you really need that kind of privacy, the reality is that search engines -- including Google -- do retain this information for some time and it's important, for example, that we are all subject in the United States to the Patriot Act and it is possible that all that information could be made available to the authorities."
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Statement defensible
by jack_perry on Fri 11th Dec 2009 03:10 UTC
jack_perry
Member since:
2005-07-06

I'll go ahead and say it: his statement was completely defensible. He's clearly talking about search engines, not about what people do behind closed doors and shuttered windows.

People ought to stop this business of taking one sentence completely out of context and making a mountain out of a molehill.

Reply Score: 6

RE: Statement defensible
by Shakey on Fri 11th Dec 2009 12:19 in reply to "Statement defensible"
Shakey Member since:
2005-10-11

I actually agree with him as well. If you are somehow wishing to keep what you are doing a secret, one needs to ask themselves why they want to keep it a secret. Many times when I catch myself doing this type of self moderation, I am doing something that I shouldn't do in the first place.

However, semantics are everything, right? Or is perception king?

Reply Parent Score: 0

RE[2]: Statement defensible
by Thom_Holwerda on Fri 11th Dec 2009 12:23 in reply to "RE: Statement defensible"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

When I browse for porn, I'd rather keep that a secret. Not that my porn preference is that exciting, it's just that I'm rather prude and find anything related to sex something very, very personal that's really none of anyone's business. I don't want anyone else to see or know anything about me in that area.

I also wouldn't like anyone else to know any condition I might have. Not that I Google that sort of thing (never use the internet for healthcare issues, go see your physician), but I know a lot of people that do.

This is not about criminal activities - this is about perfectly legal and normal activities that I want to keep to myself.

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE: Statement defensible
by WorknMan on Fri 11th Dec 2009 15:52 in reply to "Statement defensible"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

I'll go ahead and say it: his statement was completely defensible. He's clearly talking about search engines, not about what people do behind closed doors and shuttered windows.


I think in general, his statement of not doing anything you don't want others to know about is a good practice to live by, as I don't tend to do anything 'behind closed doors and shuttered windows' that I wouldn't want to appear in tomorrow morning's headlines. I don't think the world would want to know that I was jerking off last night while looking at porn, but I don't really care if they know either.

If you're on the internet in the middle of the night looking up stuff that you would be ashamed for your mom to know about, then maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place? Just a thought.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Statement defensible
by sbergman27 on Fri 11th Dec 2009 16:15 in reply to "RE: Statement defensible"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

If you're on the internet in the middle of the night looking up stuff that you would be ashamed for your mom to know about, then maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place?

http://tinyurl.com/ycrszhr

Edited 2009-12-11 16:15 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Statement defensible
by Bounty on Fri 11th Dec 2009 18:06 in reply to "RE: Statement defensible"
Bounty Member since:
2006-09-18

I think in general, his statement of not doing anything you don't want others to know about is a good practice to live by, as I don't tend to do anything 'behind closed doors and shuttered windows' that I wouldn't want to appear in tomorrow morning's headlines. I don't think the world would want to know that I was jerking off last night while looking at porn, but I don't really care if they know either. If you're on the internet in the middle of the night looking up stuff that you would be ashamed for your mom to know about, then maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place? Just a thought.



What if your mom is very religious and you love her, and want to maintain a relationship with her? Obviously looking at porn isn't against YOUR morals, but it could ruin your relationship with her. Your philosophy only works in certain circumstances, such as you're a loner, you don't really need a job etc.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Statement defensible
by AdamW on Fri 11th Dec 2009 16:25 in reply to "Statement defensible"
AdamW Member since:
2005-07-06

Google deals with a lot more than just search. Remember, they own many people's email, personal conversations (Google Voice), location (Latitude) and all sorts of other bits of data (Wave, etc). I would not want a company with this kind of attitude to privacy in charge of all of that. (Which is why I don't use any of those things...)

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Statement defensible
by jack_perry on Fri 11th Dec 2009 18:21 in reply to "RE: Statement defensible"
jack_perry Member since:
2005-07-06

Google deals with a lot more than just search. Remember, they own many people's email, personal conversations (Google Voice), location (Latitude) and all sorts of other bits of data (Wave, etc). I would not want a company with this kind of attitude to privacy in charge of all of that. (Which is why I don't use any of those things...)


Do they really own the email, or do they merely store it for users' convenience? I'm not clear on that one.

Anyway, expecting privacy in email is also a bad idea, considering that it goes through a large number of computers on unsecured lines. If you encrypt your emails, okay that would be helpful with privacy, but I don't use Google Mail so I don't know how it works with encryption.

But otherwise, if you're having a torrid affair and you talk about it with her in emails, it's quite possible that a private investigator (or the Mob) could snoop and nail you.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Statement defensible
by StephenBeDoper on Fri 11th Dec 2009 20:34 in reply to "Statement defensible"
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

I'll go ahead and say it: his statement was completely defensible. He's clearly talking about search engines, not about what people do behind closed doors and shuttered windows.


Agreed. If you add the qualifier "in public" to his statement, it seems rather innocuous - if that's what he meant (and that's how I read the statement), then he's essentially just stating the concept of "reasonable expectation of privacy."

Reply Parent Score: 2