back to article Schmidt: 'Elites' not 'common men' fret over net privacy

In the end, Eric Schmidt can't help but undermine his own defense of Google's data collection and retention policies. Speaking with The London Evening Standard this week, Google's executive chairman and former CEO said that "elites" are more concerned with what data Google retains than "the common man". The implication was …


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  1. trarch
    Thumb Down

    Log Retention

    Can someone please explain what they actually do with the data that they retain?

    My first thought was for targeted ads with AdSense, but that uses the current page being displayed if I remember rightly.

    Anyway, thumbs down for Schmidt.

  2. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. trottel

    elites, not the common men search for cures of cancer

    nothing else

  4. Steven Roper

    This guy

    has gone beyond foot in mouth to the point of performing a tracheotomy with his big toe. He really hates privacy doesn't he? Did he used to work for the FBI or CIA or something?

    1. LaeMing


      Yes, if his foot goes in any further, he will end up kicking himself in the head, which is coming in from the other end.

  5. Mark 65


    "the irrepressible Eric made a point of saying that the world's governments should let net companies regulate themselves when it comes to privacy"

    What a totally insincere shithead he really is. Like he gives a flying one about anybody's privacy. Earth to Eric - it's why you are now being regulated you tit.

    1. Paul RND*1000

      He doesn't want regulation

      It gets in the way of being evil.

  6. David Hicks

    Didn't know I was an elite

    Guess I am though!

  7. jake Silver badge

    Uh ... try to remember who google's customer is ...

    "Schmidt said the "customer" should decide how the customer's data is used. The customer should."

    Wrong. google's customers are the PAYING advertisers, not the free-loading GreatUnwashed[tm], who are being hoodwinked into providing personal data to those advertisers.

    It's TheGreatUnwashed[tm] who need to be allowed to make that choice.

    Personally, I've made that choice. With a little help from ipfw on the routers, google is persona non grata around these parts.

    1. BuckeyeB

      Who really is the customer?

      We talked about this very subject in my MBA classes.

      That is why they're perfectly happy saying let the customer decide. They know who the customer is. The every day user does not.

  8. LaeMing

    Schmidt's statement should be considered in light of:

    Google's 'customers' are the advertisers, not the 'common man'.

  9. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    You are now reading this in the voice of GlaDOS

    "So your searches - and again this is all very fully disclosed - are kept for 12 to 18 months in a complex series of ways, and after that, we anonymize them"

    For the next test chamber...

  10. Nick 6

    No Eric....

    You are part of the elites, and you are screwing us, the common people.

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Maybe of topic but...

    Back in the day some folks got a bit upset when the barons and others started the enclosure of common lands. Nah, don't worry about it, its OK, only a minor change really, improves efficiency for everyone, what do you mean 'you are getting the shitty end", just shut up or you'll regret it. We haven't quite go to the 'Shut up or you'll regret it' part yet but it won't be far away...

    Am a very far out when I see parallels in modern day antics of the big corporations or do I need my medication adjusted? Guidance welcome....

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Google's worst enemy

    Would seem to be Schmidt. I don't loathe Google too much, as a rule; their search works and I don't use anything else in their stable. But then every now and again up pops Schmidt, stream of consciousness given its head, to remind me that I really, really should fear and loathe Google for their casual, indifferent dismissal of privacy and user concerns as irrelevant.

    1. Vic

      Re: Google's worst enemy

      > Would seem to be Schmidt.


      I quite like much of what Google does. But every time Schmidt opens his mouth, I want to hurt him.

      Google would do well from a bit of a reshuffle at the top end...


  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    a common man writes...

    actually, I DO worry about privacy, so I don't use google at all, a choice it is increasingly difficult to make.

    It should worry everyone, how this vast and growing organisation is led by people who don't care at all about little people

    1. Tom 13

      If you read El Reg,

      you use Google. Google isn't just search and email. It's most important products are Ad Words and Google Analytics. I'm pretty sure I've seen the Ad Words line flash at the bottom of my browser. Which means we've both used Google today, and given them a bit more data.

  14. Winkypop Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    "Elites", "Common man"

    Well I'm one very common man who values his privacy more than anything else.

    What a .......

  15. Anonymous Coward

    Honestly, this is hilarious

    Now we're just waiting to see what words of wisdom Ballmer will spout next. It's almost as if these two clowns are trying to outdo each other with their inability to understand WTF they're doing...

  16. Da Weezil


    I'm not and never will be a member of the "elite" whatever the hell that means. I am still concerned with the likes of Schmidt and his ilk and their whole "industry" that seems to think we are there to provide them with a free ride

    MY data is MINE! If it is to be monetized commercialized or anything else of that nature then I expect to the the beneficiary of that transaction.

    I am sick of parasites like Google and the ad industry treating me as a data source/marketing opportunity. My movements on the web are ***k all to do with anyone at Google of any of its parasitic partners. Similarly my wifi presence is in the clear for friends to access it, not for Google to use it for commercial purposes.

    You have to wonder at the total corruption of governments that they allow the business parasites so much freedom to pry into our lives - the situation needs re-balancing

    Let me put this as bluntly as possible Google advertisers et al/..

    Get your ****ing noses out of my private data and stop tracking my movements - this from a non elite - and I know plenty of others that feel the same.

    1. BuckeyeB

      Excellent name by the way


      You should lock up your wi-fi. You can let your friends on without letting those you don't know on too.


  17. Anonymous Coward

    Elites? The man is an idiot...

    ...everyone knows it's spelt l33t5.

  18. Schultz

    More Schmidt

    I though he was on the way out...

    maybe he was the reason for the recent Zombie Alarm? (

  19. andy gibson

    I was in 1980's mode

    cos I was thinking "Elites don't fret over piracy" after having just read Francis Spufford's "Backroom Boys"

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Elites do care about pirates

    Once you've shot them down, you can use your front scoops to pick up free stuff.

    What he meant to say was Elites don't like Thargoids.

  21. Paul RND*1000


    Well, I care about my privacy and the best I ever managed was Deadly.

  22. wookey

    Open Wifi needs preserving

    BuckeyeB. Nothing wrong with open wifi. It's a good and socially helpful thing, sadly on the decline due to needless paranoia and poor default configs. talks about this, and why it's worth making efforts to preserve open net access.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Riff Raff

      I agree to an extent but you would have to set it up so there was a rate limit for the riff-raff and priority for your own important packets.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    There is a contract that defines whose data it is.

    If you don't like it, don't use the service. Very simple.

    Ah but you want the service but don't want Google, Facebook, Microsoft, etal. to use your info? To bad for you.

    1. Tom 13

      As I pointed out above

      if you use the internet, you use Google whether you intend to or not.

  24. mhenriday
    Big Brother

    Eric Schmidt's candor is almost refreshing -

    but for my part, I agree (!) with Cade that Google needs regulation. However, it is not merely Google that requires regulating, but *all* corporations that deal with user information. The problem here is that posed by Decimus Junius Juvenalis nearly a couple of millennia ago «Quis custodiet ipsos custodes ?» - who is going to regulate the regulators ? Given that, as the Evening Standard article cited by Cade points out, «Schmidt has already acted as an adviser to David Cameron on economic recovery», how much regulation of their friends and advisors can we expect from our regulators ? Not, I suggest, a very great deal. And given that, in any event, Echelon is listening to all our conversations, perhaps the question is moot ?...


  25. Tom 13

    I think the real reason most of the common people

    aren't as concerned about their privacy as the elites are, is the asymmetrical aspect of maintaining privacy. If you are elite, you are specifically targeted. If you are the common man you just happen to be the unlucky sod who got caught in the scattershot malware attack. Not that the common person is any less violated when it happens.

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