Google’s Schmidt Hit With Tough Questions on Colbert

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google_recruiting_small.jpgADOTAS – I wonder if Google CEO Eric Schmidt knew what he was in for when he signed up to be on Comedy Central’s “Colbert Report.” Hope he wasn’t expecting to tell jokes about Googling himself and crazy coding anecdotes, because Stephen Colbert is not Jay Leno.

Right off the bat Colbert describes Google of “making its cash on essentially data mining what we Americans care about.” which Schmidt replies is not true. Colbert goes on to suggest user interests and likes codified by demographics such as location to build something akin to an FBI database on every American (person really) with Internet access — only it’s used to target advertising rather than persecute (or are they the same thing?).

“It’s true that we see your searches, but we forget them after a while,” Schmidt says, a reply that gets some chuckles of disbelief from the crowd. In fact, there’s a lot of nervous laughter whenever Schmidt speaks.

Colbert also takes on Schmidt’s infamous “change your name” comment (Colbert’s pose after Schmidt replies “It was a joke” speaks volumes), but in general the political comedian forces the Google CEO to respond to the concerns of most privacy advocates. Will his answers quell anybody’s concerns? My immediate response is no…

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Eric Schmidt
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