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