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Google’s Eric Schmidt wants a ban on Amazon’s drones

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Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Forbes
December 10, 2013

FORTUNE – ”How would you feel,” Google (GOOG) chairman Eric Schmidt asked in the Guardian last April, “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?”

Good question. Especially after Jeff Bezos’ announcement on 60 Minutes Sunday that Amazon (AMZN) plans to build and deploy across the U.S. a fleet of artificially intelligent delivery drones.

How would I feel about a drone that could snoop on me? Probably the same way I’d feel about a company that monitored all my online activities — the e-mail I send and receive, the websites I visit, the places I visit, the products I buy, the YouTubes I watch, etc. etc. — and sold that information to advertisers.

Google’s corporate guidelines on such matters were delineated two years ago by what Schmidt calls “the creepy line.”

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This article was posted: Tuesday, December 10, 2013 at 6:29 am





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