Larry Page says a little less privacy could be good online

Larry Page says chill out about privacy, voice recognition is still rubbish
Larry and tech: on the same page

While not in any way on board with the NSA snooping through your private data, Google co-founder Larry Page has said we all need to chill out about privacy a bit.

Speaking at a TED conference in Vancouver, Page said that relinquishing control over your medical data, for example, could save thousands of lives.

Speaking from his own experience, Page said he was nervous about being open with people about the hoarse voice he has suffered from for the past 15 years, but explained that as soon as he opened up about it, he received support from thousands of people in similar situations.

Open up

He's not saying you should put a link to your doctor's notes in your Twitter bio though - rather that anonymised medical records should be made available to doctors and researchers.

"We are not thinking about the tremendous good that can come with sharing information with the right people in the right ways," he said. "It could save 100,000 lives this year."

Despite this tacit endorsement of openness, the NSA is still in Google's bad books. Page described governments' secret digital surveillance as "disappointing".

"It is not possible to have a democracy if we have to protect our users from the government."

As well as the privacy chat, Page agreed that "speech recognition is not very good", reiterated his belief in the mad-sounding Project Loon, explained that the automated cars project came about because he had to wait for a bus in the snow once, and urged businesses to invest in crazy-sounding tech.

"Most businesses fail because they miss the future," he said, saying he "felt guilty" for "wasting time" on Android back when it was just a side-project.

"That was stupid, it was the future."

News Editor (UK)

Former UK News Editor for TechRadar, it was a perpetual challenge among the TechRadar staff to send Kate (Twitter, Google+) a link to something interesting on the internet that she hasn't already seen. As TechRadar's News Editor (UK), she was constantly on the hunt for top news and intriguing stories to feed your gadget lust. Kate now enjoys life as a renowned music critic – her words can be found in the i Paper, Guardian, GQ, Metro, Evening Standard and Time Out, and she's also the author of 'Amy Winehouse', a biography of the soul star.