Former Obama adviser Eric Schmidt tries to hide donations at Google

Correction on the title of this piece: His campaign advisory role carried over to a ongoing Presidential advisory role, so “Former” isn’t quite accurate.


Google Chairman and former CEO Eric Schmidt tried to use his influence within Google to gain privacy from searches about him, specifically trying to hide his political donations through secret “whitelists” whose existence has only recently been admitted.

This revelation from Steven Levy’s new book In the Plex is not surprising given Schmidt’s high level of political activity, advising candidate Barack Obama on tech issues, and now rumored as a candidate to be the next Secretary of Commerce. He’s in deep politically, and probably doesn’t want that to hurt him personally or in business.

But given Schmidt’s history, he’s now exposed as a massive hypocrite.

Schmidt, you see, has long claimed that privacy is not a problem. As he told some adoring fans about a year ago, he considers databases about you to be essential, to be done by the state if not by Google. So why would he call for a special exemption?


After all, he thinks online anonymity is dangerous. Why doesn’t he want his information out there, keeping him accountable?

He could just follow his own advice and change his name if he wants to divorce himself from his name and the data associated with it. Why’s he too good for what he wants others to do?

And worst case, he could do what he says people should do if they’re worried about Google Street View: move out of their homes.

Eric Schmidt: You owe America an apology for asking us to tolerate what you’ve tried to avoid yourself, and should you be nominated to be the next Secretary of Commerce as rumored, the Senate should reject you as unfit for office, given your reckless disregard for American privacy.


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