09 Sep

Google’s Permanent Record

There are always three sides to every story: theirs, yours and the truth. In this case we have Internet users, Internet companies and the middle ground. As a society, we have to find a solution that enables websites to customize our experiences without compromising our privacy. The Consumer Watchdog group has proposed a solution.

Recently, Google CEO, Eric Schmidt, stated, “People aren’t ready for the technology revolution that’s going to happen to them.” He continued on to predict “that every young person one day will be entitled automatically to change his or her name on reaching adulthood in order to disown youthful hijinks stored on their friends’ social media sites” (WSJ – “Google CEO Suggests You Change Your Name to Escape His Permanent Record”).

Needless to say, the quote has received endless attention from the press. In addition to thousands of tweets, hundreds of blog posts and many more messages ridiculing the statement, the nationally organized group who refers to themselves as the “Consumer Watchdog” produced and published the following video parody.

There is an obvious need to protect individual privacy online. And the Consumer Watchdog “is a nationally recognized consumer group that has been fighting corrupt corporations and crooked politicians since 1985.” As the video suggests, they are currently advocating for a national “do not watch me” list – similar to the previously established “Do-Not-Call Registry”. The video, as seen above, has been played on the Times Square Screen, in NYC, repeatedly over the past week.

How do you feel about the proposal?