Schmidt was talking to The Atlantic about the possibility of a Google implant – a chip under your skin that would track you and provide easy web access. That, Schmidt said, was probably over ‘the creepy line’.
However, he followed that by saying: “With your permission you give us more information about you, about your friends, and we can improve the quality of our searches. We don’t need you to type at all. We know where you are. We know where you’ve been. We can more or less know what you’re thinking about.”
Some might argue that that is over the line too but Google will only read your mind “with your permission”, so that’s a relief.
Schmidt has a history of attention-grabbing and quotable statements about Google’s increasing, err, creep into our lives. There was the time that he said: “If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.” Recently he has suggested that young people might in future change their names so as to escape their Google-able past.
Last month he muttered cryptically about having “other ways” to get access to Facebook’s data should the social network decline to let Google index it.