Eric Schmidt during Event in New York on May 6th

Eric Schmidt: “There is a time when [internet] erasure is a right thing”

May 6, 2013 - Written By Briley Kenney

During an event at New York University in Manhattan, Google’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt spoke up about several pressing issues with the existence of the internet. He says that the internet should have some kind of delete button that allows users to clean the slate and start fresh. In particular, he’s referring to damning evidence and information that will permanently remain accessible. For example, criminal records which remain accessible online even after they’ve been legally expunged from a person’s record.

He seems to think that mistakes people make when they’re young will haunt them more so later in life because of the internet.

“In America, there’s a sense of fairness that’s culturally true for all of us. The lack of a delete button on the Internet is a significant issue. There is a time when erasure is a right thing.”

Jared Cohen, the director of Google Ideas also spoke up on the matter. He believes that in the future, the internet or related ecosystems will be more adapted to protecting an individual’s online privacy, including personal photos and images.

They certainly have a point, and online privacy has been something of a hot issue lately. There’s been a rise in internet based crimes, or at least there’s been more coverage of them lately (they always happen, but it just seems more evident when news outlets cover it frequently).

The birth of wearable technology has also brought the idea of internet privacy, and privacy in general under question. Just the idea of someone walking around with a recording device that’s always connected to the internet sends people into a frenzy. What if you’re recorded without permission? What if someone bears witness to a sensitive situation and broadcasts it online for all to see?

Eric Schimdt says that wearable devices will not change privacy as much as many would expect. People will still have privacy, and usage rules for the devices will be different for each country. According to Schimdt the policies regarding such devices will differ from nation to nation. Some may prohibit use of devices like Google Glass entirely. Obviously, we’ll see more of this play out as time goes on.

(Image Credit): CNET