According to this CNN article, it will be a good long while before the folks at Google will be talking to any reporters from CNET. Not until July 2006, to be exact. A CNET story, dated July 14, tried to make a point about the importance of privacy concerns by giving an example of the type of personal information easily available online. The sample victim? Google CEO Erick Schmidt. See for yourself. Writer Elinor Mills found Schmidt’s estimated net worth, where he lives (with his wife, Wendy), some of his hobbies and even political donations…all via Google searches.
The article goes on at length to address the larger issue of privacy and the type of personal information readily available via the internet, including through other search engines like Yahoo! and MSN. Citing Google’s motto of “doing no evil,” as well as the company’s reputation as a good corporate citizen, the piece also includes commentary from some individuals with less faith in Google’s ability to simultaneously meet the demands of shareholders, other economic incentives and safeguarding mammoth amounts of personal information.
It’s not news that we’ve grown accustomed to and greatly enjoy the benefits of the digital age. The lesson here? For now, it’s…don’t mess with CEOs.