Google’s Eric Schmidt on Privacy in the Digital Age

Two thought leaders at Google say technology is shaping human society, for better and sometimes, for worse. Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen of Google explored this notion in “The New Digital Age” at SXSW Interactive and in their upcoming book by the same title.

In the digital age, people have seen technology improve their physical lives, human rights and civic relationships—from safety and terrorism to revolution. But does this come at expense of privacy?

"These mobile devices are super computers,” says Schmidt, executive chairman at Google. “They're not just phones. Information once published publicly is not really revocable. The best thing you can hope for is that it gets buried."

Protecting personal information is a task for both the global community and our own families. "Kids are coming online younger than anytime in history and the things they're saying and doing far outpaces their maturity,” says Cohen, director of Google Ideas. “You realize that parents all around the world are concerned about it. Parents need to have the data permanence conversation before they have the bird and bees talk."

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Jennifer Chang is the former associate editor for SUCCESS. She has a corgi puppy who has more Instagram followers than a dog should have. Tweet or follow her thoughts and favorite links at @jenzchang.

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