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Google CEO Suggests You Move If You Aren't Comfortable With Street View Cameras (UPDATE)

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UPDATE: Google CEO Eric Schmidt has offered a response to comments he made during his appearance on the Parker Spitzer show last Friday.

Schmidt's statement reads: "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."

During an interview on CNN's Parker Spitzer last Friday, Google CEO Eric Schmidt offered a word of advice to users concerned with Google's Street View cameras, which provide photos of cities around the world that are featured online on Google Maps.

Schmidt's statement on Street View was not included in an official transcript of the interview, but according to MarketWatch, here's what was said:

"Street View, we drive exactly once," Schmidt said, referring to the vehicles mounted with cameras sent out to take photos for the service. "So, you can just move, right?" After a brief, subsequent exchange with co-host Kathleen Parker, Schmidt laughed, making it unclear whether the remark was made in jest.

The executive added in reference to Street View that "the important point is we only do it once," and that "this is not a monitoring situation."

Schmidt continued: "We're very careful to not have real-time information about where people are."

Earlier this year, Schmidt dismissed as a "joke" a controversial suggestion he made during a Wall Street Journal interview that young people should be allowed to change their names upon reaching adulthood to escape incriminating information posted online during their youth. He has also said that Google's policy was to "get right up to the creepy line," but not cross it.

During the Parker Spitzer interview, Schmidt also addressed what information Google knows about its users. He told the hosts, "What we do know is we keep the searches that you do for roughly a year, year and a half and then we forget them."

But is that enough? "Privacy needs to be seen in its proper context is more important than how we're treating it today on online," Schmidt opined.

He added, "People have a right of privacy and they have a right of private behavior and that we need to respect that as a society."

See Schmidt's interview below. What do you think of his take on privacy? Do you agree or disagree with his perspective? Weigh in below.

UPDATE: All Things Digital has posted the clip showing Schmidt's "advice to the Street-View shy" during Parker Spitzer. A CNN spokesperson said of the clip, "Producers routinely make editorial decisions about what sound bites to include in their shows. In this case, the clip was posted on and disseminated to other media outlets and was widely available."

Quick Poll

Schmidt's suggestion that people who dislike Street View "move":

was serious.

was a joke.

I'm not sure whether he was serious or joking.


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