Eric Schmidt

'I would lose my job, be fired, and be sued to death' for reading someone's Gmail

Executive Chairman of Google, Eric Schmidt, recently fielded an interview with Peter Sagal of NPR to talk a little bit about Google -- and when Schmidt talks, we listen. The entire interview was kept quite casual, but the best parts of course pertained to Schmidt's views on privacy, how he feels about Google Glass and how some of the early principles of Google came to be. A few interesting quotes from the interview:

  • On how much Google knows about users: "Well, as much as you'll let us know. We keep information about your searches for 12 to 18 months, and then we forget everything."
  • On Googlers being able to read your email: "Yes, and I would lose my job, be fired, and be sued to death... Someone would find out, trust me."
  • On keeping things casual at Google: "Well, we actually had to have a rule, we had to have two rules. The first rule - these are both rules I enacted. The first is that you had to wear clothes to work. The second rule is that you have to have fun. You can be serious without wearing a suit, and we wanted to invent the future."
  • On what we'll be using Google Glass for: "Well, we don't quite know yet. We have maybe 2,000 of these. We've shipped them out to developers, and we're seeing what they develop. There's obviously issues, shall we say, of appropriateness of how people are going to use these things. There's a right time to have Google Glass on, and there's a right time to have it off, if you take my drift."
  • On '20-percent time: "Yeah, that's another one of our ideas is that engineers should spend 20 percent of their time working on whatever they find interesting. Now, before you get too excited, remember, engineers are not that interesting... A lot of the Google inventions came from engineers just screwing around with ideas. And then management would see them, and we'd say, boy, that's interesting. Let's add some more engineers."

NPR has made available a complete transcript of the interview, as well as audio, at the source link below.

Source: NPR

There are 20 comments

jwyche007 says:

ROFL "... engineers are not that interesting..." - Eric Scmidt

jwyche007 says:


TheDu9du says:

Next time try the "EDIT" you see below your comment. Go ahead do it right now, then edit your reply to something else and then future readers will be like "what is TheDu9du talking about"
"Is he hallucinating, jwyche007 clearly did spell Schmidt right the first time"

return_0 says:

Nope, taking a screenshot for proof.

awilisch says:

Isn't losing your job and being fired the same thing?

kmich74 says:

No, you can lose your job without being fired.

mjmdroid says:

I was fired and then lost my job.... B-)

Mobius360 says:

You can also get fired on your day off.

cashxx says:

Like he lost the CEO seat!!

ScottJ says:

You get a seat when you are CEO? I never knew.

SkinsFan1987 says:

Google seems like it would be a fun place to work; I can appreciate that.

TheDu9du says:

Yes of course, you get to ride colorful bikes all day long.

mwara244 says:

They have volleyball, and a ball pit for adults too. Not to mention free food cafeteria for breakfast lunch and dinner, bring your pets to work, and a whole lot more.

cashxx says:

They really lost my trust when they bypassed Safari security measures and would still be going on today if it wasn't discovered! What else do they do at that magnitude? And the company constantly lies when they get caught doing something!

Suntan says:

Yes. Obviously they have a room full of people sitting and personally reading through your web searches and your emails...

Because you *are* that important.


cashxx says:

They obviously have a person or people writing code to bypass security features of competitors for Google's advertisers!


ScottJ says:

You are an Apple troll that pretends to be a Google user when you want to play the roll of concern troll. Your opinion is worthless.

gospodinjuha says:

I likey that reply.

mwara244 says:


ash71ish says:

nice one