Google, Privacy and Your Reputation

Google can be your helpful friend, or your harmful nemesis when it comes to your online reputation.

Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt on privacy:

If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.

Google does take care of their own though. Especially if you are the CEO and have online reputation management problems:

In 2010, former CNBC and Forbes staffer Kate Bohner detailed her affair with (married) Schmidt, revealing a great deal about the exec’s private life…

The blog—which hadn’t even mentioned Schmidt by name—followed in a long, hallowed, mundane tradition of writing anonymously online about paramours. Unlike everyone else, her Google-hosted tell-all blog was yanked down after Schmidt and his lawyers took offense.

In 2011, it came out that Schmidt had tried (unsuccessfully) to get records of past political donations stricken from the search engine.

And just last year, Schmidt quickly deleted his Instagram account after we took a peek at it.[1]

In 2009, Schmidt had little sympathy for anyone afraid of Google’s omnipresent forever-memory. He said the following before a live audience: “If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.”

That’s radical, heartless, and not a little sinister, but at least it’s consistent. But if he really believed those words, he’d let us read his girlfriends’ blogs.[2]

If you work for Google and are high up enough, they can make bad stuff about you disappear, but if not, you will need learn how to repair your own online reputation.

 

References and Footnotes

  1. The Many Women of Eric Schmidt's Instagram - ValleyWag
  2. Google's Mega-Hypocrite Says His Privacy Is More Important than Yours - ValleyWag