Archive for October, 2014

✁ Eric Schmidt thinks we’re stupid

Last month, Apple CEO Tim Cook penned an open letter regarding customer’s data privacy and security.

A few years ago, users of Internet services began to realize that when an online service is free, you’re not the customer. You’re the product. But at Apple, we believe a great customer experience shouldn’t come at the expense of your privacy.

Our business model is very straightforward: We sell great products. We don’t build a profile based on your email content or web browsing habits to sell to advertisers. We don’t “monetize” the information you store on your iPhone or in iCloud. And we don’t read your email or your messages to get information to market to you. Our software and services are designed to make our devices better. Plain and simple.

Yesterday, Executive Chairman of Google, Eric Schmidt, actually said this said this to CNN Money in response to this letter.

All the things [Cook] implied we’re doing, we don’t do.

Except that’s 100%, absolutely, without a question what Google does. And Schmidt admitted it in the next sentence.

Besides from the fact that we show ads in Gmail…and we use that information for nothing, all the other things that he implied we were doing, we don’t do.

From Gmail’s support page (emphasis added),

Google does not rent, sell or share information that personally identifies you for marketing purposes without your express permission. No email content or other personally identifiable information is provided to advertisers.

Schmidt is purposely obfuscating here. So Gmail collects information from your profile that “it does nothing with”. Yet it is in the business of selling advertisements that seem bizarrely tailored to you. While Google may not be selling the profile or email content, or web browsing habits, it certainly is collecting it in order to sell you more targeted ads. Imagine if the government said we’re tapping your phone calls, but we’re not listening to them.

And all of this assumes we should believe what Schmidt has to say. You know, the guy who says things like:

Eric Schmidt has such little respect for our intelligence, he can’t even tell us the truth about Google’s business model.