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October 26, 2010

Schmidt backs away from “move house” comment

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by Darren Allan

As we reported this morning, Google CEO Eric Schmidt has made another one of his embarrassing public remarks where no-one is quite sure whether it’s a joke or not.

This comment came during a CNN interview, when the CEO was being questioned by Kathleen Parker about the privacy issues Street View posed.

Schmidt said that Google only drives along and collects images with its photographing cars just the once, and then suggested that means if you didn’t like this, “you can just move, right?”

The Google CEO then laughed the remark off somewhat, and reinforced the fact that the point was the search giant wasn’t monitoring locations with the service. However, not only was the comment very odd – and ill considered given the Street View car wi-fi data hot soup which has been spilt this week – it doesn’t even make sense as a joke.

Certainly it seems that Google’s spin department has realised the embarrassment caused here, as messages have been rushed out to placate the press.

We received an email statement from Schmidt which said: “As you can see from the unedited interview, my comments were made during a fairly long back and forth on privacy. I clearly misspoke. If you are worried about Street View and want your house removed please contact Google and we will remove it.”

You’d think Eric would be learning some lessons about “jokey” remarks by now, but we doubt the foot-in-mouth disease suffering CEO will be out of the headlines for long.

Story link: Schmidt backs away from “move house” comment


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