Cartoon of outgoing Google CEO Eric Schmidt's 'creepy' lines hits D.C. streets
Consumer Watchdog, the consumer protection group that has been scratching on Google's door since it began tracking the company a couple of years ago, is now going after soon-to-be-ex-CEO Eric Schmidt with an animated video capturing some of the executive's "creepy" quotes about privacy.
(One of them, transcribed at the end of the video is: "There is what I call the creepy line. The Google policy on a lot of things is to get right up to the creepy line and not cross it.")
Over the years, Schmidt -- who announced last week that he would step down in April to be replaced by co-founder Larry Page -- has made a number of quips that observers have seen as betraying a lack of concern for user privacy. Among the more famous was when he said, "If you have something you don't want anybody to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place."
Schmidt later suggested that if people didn't like their homes being photographed by Google's Street View mapping cars, they should "just move."
AllThingsD has a good summary of Schmidt's privacy gaffes.
In releasing its "Mr. Schmidt goes to Washington" video, Consumer Watchdog is asking Congress to force Schmidt to testify on Google's so-called "Wi-Spy" scandal, where the company's mapping cars recorded huge amounts of private data from homes and businesses, including user e-mails and passwords.
The Santa Monica-based watchdog has also hired a van to drive around the streets of D.C. playing the movie on a large screen on its side.
-- David Sarno
Photo credit: Consumer Watchdog