CNET News.com claims that Google won’t talk to it until July 2006 in response to "privacy issues" raised in a News.com story which revealed details of Google CEO Eric Schmidt’s personal life.
I wouldn’t have revealed such details myself. The point of the article was to show that Google holds a lot of personal data, some of which is accessible to all over the Web. CNET could have made their point by saying that Schmidt’s salary, net worth, home town and even music preference can be discovered online, without actually detailing them.
But if CNET’s claim is true, it seems rather sad that Google should batten down the hatches and refuse to talk to journalists, when most of what News.com revealed was publicly accessible information, and none of it was likely to cause Schmidt any real embarrassment by it being made public. News.com revealed that Schmidt makes a lot of money and is also worth an awful lot of money, which will come as little surprise to anyone.
CBR recently voted the founders of Google, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, among the 10 Most Influential people in technology in our recent CBR 10 Most Influential Special Report. So come on guys, don’t make us wish we hadn’t. ‘Blackballing’ journalists is not big and is not clever. I hope I don’t have to explain why a free technology press is important to such a forward-looking company as Google. But perhaps given the fact that it was Playboy that Google granted its exclusive pre-IPO interview to, they do seem to have a slightly odd view of the people they will, and will not talk to.