Home > Uncategorized > Google is watching.

Google is watching.

I’m a massive fan of ABC’s Hungry Beast and just found a great clip of theirs from March last year regarding Google. Have a watch! Basically, the clip questions the company’s true ability to stick to their motto of “Don’t Be Evil” by illustrating the hundreds of ways Google is currently influencing (and planning to further infiltrate) our online activity, social interaction and other communications.

Although this video was definitely thought-provoking, I was mostly intrigued by a quote Hungry Beast included in their piece, originally said by Google CEO Eric Shmidt in response to Google StreetView complaints:

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

Now, I understand the reasoning behind this statement. In fact, one of my mum’s favourite lines to lecture me with is, “Never do anything you wouldn’t be happy to have spread on the front page of a newspaper.” Indeed with technology and information capture as it is these days, the potential for publication and hence, destruction is phenomenal and one really must be careful. But at the same time, can you take disregard for privacy too far? Is nothing sacred anymore?

For me this quote truly highlights the severe extent of internet privacy issues in today’s society. Just because our actions have the ability to be seen and recorded by virtually anybody, doesn’t mean that they should be, and furthermore, doesn’t really allow big internet corporations such as Google to justify unauthorised publication. When did we agree to this constant surveillance? As well as that, Schmidt’s quote basically implies not only that secrets no longer have a place in society, but that they are nowadays reserved solely for immoral or inappropriate reasons. As Ryan Tate of ‘Gawker’ Online neatly retaliates, “the philosophy that secrets are useful mainly to indecent people is awfully convenient for Schmidt as the CEO of a company whose value proposition revolves around info-hoarding.”  It’s a fine line between public and private property, but it seems that this distinction is becoming more and more blurred with the increasing role of the internet in our everyday lives. But I can’t help thinking, if we lived by the mindset of Eric Shmidt, could our every move be open to public eyes?

Source : http://gawker.com/5419271/google-ceo-secrets-are-for-filthy-people

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. jpmclaughlan
    June 1, 2011 at 1:11 am

    I really believe that the statement “If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.” is simply a buzz phrase to silence any detractors of surveillance. What does that even mean? That privacy only exists so that people can get away with immoral activities?

    I think the way to look at privacy and communication, is to take the perspective that it’s what we choose to share, rather than what we need/want to hide.

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