Should you believe what Eric Schmidt says, or what Google does?

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Actions speak louder than words. That's why I'm not putting much stock in what Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt says anymore.

Speaking at The All Things Digital Conference on May 31 Schmidt said Google decided not to implement facial recognition technology because of privacy concerns.  He said he thought it's something that can be used in a "very bad way as well as a very good way."

"We actually built that technology and we withheld it," Schmidt told the conference. "As far as I know it's the only technology Google built and after looking at it we decided to stop."

I actually thought that concerns about Google riding roughshod over consumers' privacy might be getting through to the executive suites at the Googleplex.

Now I'm beginning to think Schmidt was really kicked upstairs when Larry Page resumed his position as chief executive office and is now completely out of the loop.

Guess what Google just bought?  A facial recognition company, Pittsburgh Pattern Recognition, aka "PittPatt."

A statement on PittPatt's website said it was a "natural fit" to join Google.  Price wasn't disclosed.

Looks like Page doesn't care what Schmidt says in public and doesn't care much about privacy either.  And guess who the Internet giant is sending to testify before the Senate Judiciary''s Antitrust Subcommittee? Schmidt, not Page.

The senators should really insist on talking to the current CEO who clearly knows what Google is really up to.  Actions speak louder than words.

John M. Simpson
John M. Simpson
John M. Simpson is an American consumer rights advocate and former journalist. Since 2005, he has worked for Consumer Watchdog, a nonpartisan nonprofit public interest group, as the lead researcher on Inside Google, the group's effort to educate the public about Google's dominance over the internet and the need for greater online privacy.

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