Eric Schmidt, the chief executive of Google, has issued a stark warning over the amount of personal data people leave on the internet and suggested that many of them will be forced one day to change their names in order to escape their cyber past.
In a startling admission from a man whose company has made billions by perfecting the art of hoarding, storing and retrieving information on us, Mr Schmidt suggested that the enormous quantity of detail we leave online may not be such a good thing after all.
The man who – alongside Google’s founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page – runs the world’s largest search engine said that young people will need to go as far as changing their identities if they are to truly erase what they have left online.
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I do not think that theologians have given yet enough attention to the spiritual, social and ethical implications of the social networking phenomenon. Maybe it is time, before it is too late.