Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is one of those companies that has been at the forefront of toeing that line of privacy while collecting trillions of pieces of data from Internet and computer users around the world in the hopes of developing targeted advertising for its partners. Google has been about getting as much information about Internet users as possible. Which actually makes some of the comments of executive Eric Schmidt this week especially interesting.
He actually would like a "mulligan" button for old information that is available on the Internet. The questions is, does he want that for his own sake, or does he have a genuinely altruistic motive? Kinda makes you want to Google "Eric Schmidt" and see what comes up, huh?
Schmidt was speaking at an event at New York University this week, where the Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) was promoting his new book, "The New Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Business" alongside co-author Jared Cohen. Schmidt talked about the reality of today's youth - which is a lot like yesteryear's youth - that make mistakes or lapses in judgment or poor decisions when they're young.
The difference with this generation over past generations is that those mistakes or lapses in judgment can become part of the public domain on the Internet, where everyone can see what you did. That includes parents and current or future employers. In that vein, Schmidt, who heads up one of the largest data-collection entities in the world, is encouraging a "do-over" setting on the Web.
Image: Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)
"In America, there's a sense of fairness that's culturally true for all of us. The lack of a delete button on the Internet is a significant issue," Schmidt said. "There is a time when erasure is a right thing." He said, however, the mechanism for establishing the proper use of such a feature should be left up to individual countries and entities with oversight jurisdiction of the Internet.
This coming from a head of Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), which is causing much concern with its new Google Glass project, which is feared that it may collect infinite amounts of information about the user and its surroundings in real-time everywhere the user goes with the eyewear. If only we could delete what we did a few seconds ago.
What do you think about Schmidt's idea of a "delete" button for certain pieces of information on the Internet? Do you see Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) getting in front of that, potentially counteracting its own data-collection strategy? Give us your feedback on this in the comments section below.