Google CEO Eric Schmidt has u-turned on comments he made during an interview with CNN on Monday in which he suggested people concerned about their homes appearing on Google Street View should “just move.”
In an official statement, Schmidt said: “I clearly misspoke” before added that he had intended to convey the statement: “If you are worried about Street View and want your house removed, please contact Google and we will remove it.”
Schmidt, who is no stranger to controversial comments, suggested back in August that young people should consider changing their names as they grow up to escape their internet visible, social media publicised early lives that may otherwise cause embarrassment and affect employment possibilities.
The CEO’s latest comment came during an interview on the Parker Spitzer show in the US with Schmidt’s words coming in a back-and-forth on the company’s reported privacy issues. The Google leader said: "With Street View, we drive by exactly once, so you can just move," before adding: “The point is, we only do it once. This is not a monitoring situation."
Despite his hasty retraction, Schmidt’s comments have thrown the web giant into crisis control mode with Christine Chen a spokeswoman for the company releasing advice to those who wish their homes to be removed from the 360 degree photographic mapping service. She recommended users simply locate the specific offensive image, click “Report a problem” and follow the subsequent instructions.