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[liberationtech] Google's Eric Schmidt: Wearable devices won't track you because you'd get upset about it

Yosem Companys companys at
Wed May 8 11:36:47 PDT 2013

Google's Schmidt: Don't worry too much about 'Big Brother'

The executive chairman of Google says that even though everyone will
be using wearable computing devices someday, companies won't be
tracking peoples' every move because it's bad business.

by Shara Tibken  May 6, 2013 11:44 AM PDT

Many companies, including Google, have been developing new technology
that users literally wear. Items such as Google Glass can track a
person's location, heart rate, and other activity, and they're likely
to become even more sophisticated in the future. They may become so
advanced that people barely realize they're on, and they may not
realize how much information is actually being collected.

However, Schmidt said that while we may all be hooked up to dozens of
wearable computing devices in the future, that doesn't mean companies
will track our every move and know everything about our behavior.

A world where everything is going to be tracked is "highly unlikely to
occur because people will be upset about it," Schmidt said during an
event with New York University Professor Nouriel Roubini and Jared
Cohen, director of Google ideas.

"Governments won't allow it, and it will be bad business," he said.
"In a competitive environment, businesses actually want their
consumers to be happy."

He did acknowledge, however, that privacy remains a key concern around
the world, but said each country approaches it differently. People in
Saudi Arabia, for example, have a different expectation for privacy
than someone in the U.S.

Schmidt said each country will reach its own decisions on how to
address and regulate privacy, and Western, democratic nations will
figure out how to balance privacy, individuals' rights, and states'

"It's a balance of interests," Schmidt said. "Countries will decide
this based on their own culture in their own way."

He added that there's an "openness bias" on the Internet, and having
access to the technology leads to more open societies. North Korea is
the last "really closed" country, Schmidt said.

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