NPR looks at a new book from Google executive Eric Schmidt, which includes a discussion of privacy and technology, and interviews him and his co-author about the issues:
Imagine a world with machines that wash, press and dress you on the way to work and vacations via hologram visits to exotic beaches. In his new book, The New Digital Age, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt does just that — but it’s no gee-whiz Jetsons fantasy.
Schmidt partners up with Jared Cohen, a foreign policy counterterrorist specialist poached from the State Department now working for Google Ideas. Together they forecast a raft of new innovations and corresponding threats that will arise for dictatorships, techno revolutionaries, terrorists and you.
Cohen and Schmidt chatted with NPR’s Audie Cornish about negotiating the shifting balance between privacy and security in a rapidly changing technological landscape.
On the cost in privacy to everyday users of the latest technology
Cohen: “Obviously, there’s a lot of conversation about both privacy and security in the context of the first 2 billion Internet users. But what the two of us did as we traveled around the world is we wanted to understand what privacy and security issues might look like in environments where the next 5 billion people come online. And it becomes very interesting when you go to places like Myanmar and North Korea and Saudi Arabia and Libya, and start having conversations about privacy and security.”
Schmidt: “One of our core concerns is that unless people fight for privacy, they will lose it in countries which have no history of concern over privacy. In the Western world, the governments will ultimately figure out a balance between these two: the legitimate use … by the police of this kind of information, and the incorrect use by others. But in many countries, there’s no history of privacy at all, and so the government can go in and essentially create a police state without any protections for citizens, and no one will even notice. And once those systems are in place in those countries, it’ll be difficult to reform them.”
Read more in the full story.