Wow, that didn’t take long. Last week we debuted our new series Talking Schmidt where we take a moment to celebrate some of the Google chairman’s more colorful statements, and today Schmidt already delivered the next round of material.
Eric Schmidt spoke today (as he has been doing an awful lot lately) at New York University’s Stern school of business where he jokingly suggested that young people should change their name at the age of 18 as a general policy to address growing privacy concerns that Internet services present.
We can probably expect more of these unforgettable lines as Eric Schmidt promotes his new book The New Digital Age with his coauthor Jared Cohen.
Both Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen spoke with economist Nouriel Roubini discussing growing privacy concerns and Big Brother in the age of increased connectivity and openness.
The Google chairman noted the serious need for a universal ‘delete button’ on the Internet to address privacy concerns and offer users more control over their personal information being made public.
But what caught our attention is a joke about a rule mandating that teenagers change their name when they become an adult to avoid responsibility for the content they post before becoming an adult, as Fast Company notes.
“I propose that at the age of 18, you should, just as a policy, change your name,” Schmidt said, with a smile. “Then you can say, ‘That really wasn’t me; I really didn’t do that!’”
It is a shame that Roubini omitted the most obvious follow-up question: What would Eric Emerson Schmidt’s new name be upon turning eighteen?
Schmidt’s comment comes soon after the 25 minute mark: