Google CEO Eric Schmidt has given us a spectacularly eerie insight into Google’s policy on creepiness: ‘Google policy is to get right up to the creepy line and not cross it.’
Schmidt, who has a history of making surprising remarks about the company, made the statement during a discussion about the possibility of installing Google implants – electronic chips – under the skin of users. The chips would track their whereabouts and provide easy access to the internet.
Schmidt said, thankfully, that this would probably be considered ‘over the creepy line.’ But he added: ‘With your permission you give us more information about you, about your friends, and we can improve the quality of our searches. We don’t need you to type at all. We know where you are. We know where you’ve been. We can more or less know what you’re thinking about.’
Reactions to Schmidt’s somewhat Orwellian comments posted onto online forum WebmasterWorld read like the taglines to a horror film:
‘He wants to turn us all into cyborgs. He’ll get access to our brains. Then we [will] all be at his mercy.’
‘Who knows what evil lurks in the minds and hearts of men? Only the Shadow knows. Bwahahahahahahaha…… ‘
‘Eric… know what I’m thinking now?’
One commentator notes that Eric Schmidt went from this:
”Don’t be evil.’ Googlers generally apply those words to how we serve our users. But ‘Don’t be evil’ is much more than that. Yes, it’s about providing our users unbiased access to information, focusing on their needs and giving them the best products and services that we can. But it’s also about doing the right thing more generally – following the law, acting honorably and treating each other with respect.
To this rather quickly:
‘…a chip under your skin that would track you and provide easy web access.’
And it’s not just Schmidt causing Google’s PR team to regularly wake up in a cold sweat. Founder and president Sergey Brin ominously announced recently that he wanted Google to become ‘the third half of your brain.’
We say: it’s coming up to Halloween – why not surprise us Google with the ultimate in creepy accessories. Forget a chip under the skin, instead, furtively implant us all with a malevolent third eye so you can track the universe from every possible perspective.