"You get a billion people doing something, there's lots of ways to make money, " Eric Schmidt told Wall Street Journal recently.
"Absolutely," he said, "trust me. We'll get lots of money for it." He was referring to Android, the OS his firm - an outfit called Google - gives away for free, but he could have been talking about any one of a number of offerings from the company that made web search its own.
"Trust me," he said. Would you? Certainly, if you had a multi-million dollar company that needed a CEO you could do worse. Or if you had a few bob to invest in shares or something or other, you might take his advice. But on the other side of the fence as a consumer... would you trust him with your data?
Chances are you already do.
"We know roughly who you are, roughly what you care about, roughly who your friends are," Schmidt said. Google will also know where you are with an Android phone - or vitrually any web-enabled phone come to that.
And the plan is to bombard you with targeted ads.
"The power of individual targeting—the technology will be so good it will be very hard for people to watch or consume something that has not in some sense been tailored for them."
"The only way I know of to increase monetisation is through targeted ads. That's our business," he said.