Eric Schmidt has seen the future and he doesn’t like it. Private citizens remotely piloting drones to spy on one another? Not in his backyard!

That’s the message he offered to The Guardian when discussing the future of certain technologies:

“You’re having a dispute with your neighbour,” he hypothesised. “How would you feel if your neighbour went over and bought a commercial observation drone that they can launch from their back yard. It just flies over your house all day. How would you feel about it?”

Such a timely point in history to mention privacy, right? And from the executive chairman of Google of all places? The elephant in the room here, of course, is Google Glass, you know, the video camera-equipped heads-up display you wear on your face? Like a drone?

Schmidt went on to note that drones are safer in the hands of governments where they can be monitored:

“It’s got to be regulated. You just can’t imagine that British people would allow this sort of thing, and I can’t imagine American people would allow this sort of thing. It’s one thing for governments, who have some legitimacy in what they’re doing, but have other people doing it … It’s not going to happen.”

Schmidt’s commentary characterizing drones as weapons and spy robots just has to be some sort of PR pushback against Amazon’s drone delivery service announcement, right?

Of course drones aren’t the answer to war either, as Schmidt recently reminded us. That resolution exists in smartphones in the eyes of Mr. Schmidt.

Follow all the latest Talking Schmidt pieces for the best coverage of the Google chairman’s views and observations.

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3 Responses to “Talking Schmidt: Armies should have drones, not citizens”

  1. Toby Johnson says:

    Why Mr. Schmidt, what problem could you possibly have with your neighbor observing you? After all, as you said just a few 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.”

  2. Drone Lyfe says:

    Do you really think a neighbor would spend $10K building a drone to spy on a neighbor (with a 10 min max flight time?) People fly drones because their fun and for aerial photography and Videography. This guy is uneducated on issues of surveillance as well as the constitution.Freedom, not regulations….