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You'll be shocked to discover that privacy consideration are very, very asymmetrical: according to our übermeisters, we should abandon all hope of privacy and control over our information now and then.

Scott McNealy's famous quip "You have zero privacy anyway. Get over it." is over ten years old (1999). Google's CEO Eric Schmidt mentioned two years ago: "If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place".

And what's the surprise of such headlines as "Mark Zuckerberg doesn't believe in privacy"? Believe? Heck, his whole business and personal fortune is based on selling his customers products private information. It's not about belief, it's about business.

Try turning the tables around however, and it's a whole new ball game: back in 2005, CNET reporters published a piece about all the information one can find on Google, taking as an example, Google's own CEO Eric Schmidt. Schmidt, however, was not amused and ordered that Google would not speak to any reporter from CNET for a year. Said the New-York Times ("Google Anything, So Long as It's Not Google"): "the company reacted in a way better suited to a 16th-century monarchy than a 21st-century democracy with an independent press."

Not to mention Bill Hader's impersonation of Julian Assange on SNL: "I give you private information on corporations for free and I'm a villain. Mark Zuckerberg gives your private information to corporations for money and he's 'Man of the Year.'"

by Bernard on Sun Jan 9th, 2011 at 07:10:21 AM EST

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