Google's CEO Has Scary Ideas For Children
Eric Schmidt's apparently trying to become tech's creepiest executive. The Google CEO outlined his dystopian vision of the future, in which children change their names at adulthood to escape damning online dossiers — dossiers of the sort stored by Google.
In an interview with a Wall Street Journal opinion writer, Schmidt said future laws will allow all kids to change their names, in order to dodge the indiscretions they've left in Google-style digital memory banks:
He predicts, apparently seriously, 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...
"I don't believe society understands what happens when everything is available, knowable and recorded by everyone all the time," he says... "I mean we really have to think about these things as a society."
This fairly amazing idea, first highlighted by Marshall Kirkpatrick at ReadWriteWeb, follows Schmidt's earlier suggestion that people should stop having secrets and that Google is more trustworthy an arbiter of private data than any government. The man who knows the most about Google seems have the scariest vision of the future of privacy.
After all, if you need a name-change at the end of childhood, how do you escape your sins as an adult? Not all indiscretions are youthful, as Schmidt himself knows all too well.
[Photo of Schmidt via Getty]