Eric Schmidt suggests you alter your scandalous behavior before you complain about his company invading your privacy. That's what the Google CEO told Maria Bartiromo during CNBC's big Google special last night, an extraordinary pronouncement for such a secretive guy.
The generous explanation for Schmidt's statement is that he's revolutionized his thinking since 2005, when he blacklisted CNET for publishing info about him gleaned from Google searches, including salary, neighborhood, hobbies and political donations. In that case, the married CEO must not mind all the coverage of his various reputed girlfriends; it's odd he doesn't clarify what's going on with the widely-rumored extramarital dalliances, though.
Schmidt's philosophy is clear with Bartiromo in the clip below: "If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place." 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. Convenient, that is, as long as people are smart enough not to apply the "secrets suck" philosophy to their Google passwords , credit card numbers and various other secrets they need to put money in Google's pockets.
It's enough to make one pine for the more innocent Google bursting forth in the c. 1999 group picture at the top of this post, also gleaned from CNBC's special. The hair might have been sillier — dig co-founder Sergey Brin and VP Marissa Mayers' cuts, top center — but no one was yet audacious enough to argue against the very idea of a secret.