Schmidt confirms Google Me

Google CEO Eric Schmidt has confirmed the firm's much-anticipated social networking doobry Google Me wil launch this year.

Google is calling Google Me service "a social layer" that somehow sits on top of Google's current offerings such as search and maps.

Speaking at Google's regular Zeigeist conference, Schmidt continued his obsession with Facebook, hoping to get his hands on its users' contacts data.

"The best thing that would happen is for Facebook to open up its data," Schmidt said, ominously adding: "Failing that, there are other ways to get that information."

It looks like Schmidt fancies parking a Street View car outside Zuckerberg's house to find out what he's up to.

Google has had a go at social networking before - and it failed spectacularly. We fully expect it to fail again this time... but not without a few privacy gaffes along the way.