Consumer Group: Google CEO Not Good For Commerce Post

Thu, Mar 17, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    By Gautham Nagesh

    Frequent Google critic Consumer Watchdog sent a letter to the White House on Thursday blasting reports that outgoing Google chief executive Eric Schmidt is being considered to replace Commerce Secretary Gary Locke.

    “Reckless data mining in pursuit of profit is how Mr. Schmidt became a billionaire, but it should not be the official policy of the Commerce Department, which is the federal agency charged with establishing and executing the Administration’s official online privacy policies,” wrote Consumer Watchdog President Jamie Court and privacy project director John Simpson.

    “Putting Eric Schmidt in charge of policing online privacy is like appointing Bernie Madoff to direct the Securities Exchange Commission,” they said.

    Hillicon noted earlier this month that Schmidt is among the names being mentioned by industry as a possible successor to Locke, though sources have indicated recently he is not among the leading candidates. Google declined to comment on the reports.

    The letter references several complaints the advocacy group has previously raised with regards to Google such as the downloading of private payload data by Google’s Street View cars, which they refer to as “the greatest wiretapping scandal in world history.”

    The letter also quotes some of Schmidt’s more colorful public statements.

    “There is what I call the creepy line. The Google Policy on a lot of things is to get right up to the creepy line and not cross it,” Schmidt said last October.

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