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Eric Schmidt on an internet 'delete' button: 'There is a time when erasure is a right thing'

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eric schmidt stock
eric schmidt stock

Eric Schmidt is known for singing the internet's praises, but it turns out Google's chairman also thinks there should be a "delete" button for the web — some effective way of permanently erasing data once and for all. "The lack of a delete button on the internet is a significant issue," Schmidt said during an NYU appearance with Jared Cohen, the co-author of his recent book. "There is a time when erasure is a right thing," he said, according to CNET.

Without context, it sounds like Schmidt is calling for the creation of some sort of secretive censorship tool. But the executive's reasoning is a bit simpler than that. Schmidt uses the example of a young person — convicted of a crime later cleared from his or her record — that could face difficulties finding a job thanks to records of that wrongdoing on the internet. In the eyes of Schmidt, the web can make it nearly impossible to turn over a new leaf. "In America, there's a sense of fairness that's culturally true for all of us," he said.