Google CEO Eric Schmidt is handing the company’s reins over to co-founder Larry Page in April, and to commemorate the event, The Wall Street Journal has compiled a greatest hits collection of Schmidt quotes. No, he didn’t say “don’t be evil.” He did, however, say that the Google has a policy to “get right up to the creepy line but not cross it.”
Schmidt’s creepy comment came in the context of a question about whether the company would ever develop a brain implant to let people search by thinking. The CEO elaborated that “implanting things in your brain is beyond the creepy line. At least for the moment, until the technology gets better.”
One area where Schmidt has been particularly outspoken is online privacy — or rather the lack of it. He’s long opined that Internet users should have no expectations of anonymity, and that this is a good thing:
No anonymity. And the reason is that in a world of asymmetric threats, true anonymity is too dangerous. … I think it’s reasonable to say that you need a name service for humans. … The governments are going to require it in some form. They just are going to. It’s not going to be OK to have random terrorists doing random terrible things under the cover of absolute anonymity.
WSJ’s top-ranked Schmidt quote is another finger-wagger about online privacy: “f you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.” Thanks for the advice, Eric. Don’t slam the door on your way out.