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Google 'pretty sure' your data is safe: Schmidt

Google is "pretty sure" your data is safe, Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said Friday at a panel discussion at South by Southwest Interactive.

Google has upgraded the encryption process it uses to help keep people's information secure, he said. The company was in the process of improving its encryption process when the Edward Snowden revelations came to light, which made the company expedite the process, Schmidt said.

Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google, speaks during the South By Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas, March 7, 2014.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google, speaks during the South By Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas, March 7, 2014.

"We were attacked by the Chinese in 2010 and the NSA in 2013," he said.

"We are pretty sure the information that is inside of Google right now is safe from prying eyes, especially the government," Schmidt said. "We think your data is very safe."

Schmidt and Google Ideas Director Jared Cohen spoke about the intersection of technology and privacy. While Google is working to protect users' search data from spying, Schmidt said that once someone publishes something online, it's never really going away.

"Information is very powerful. It can be used and misused, and you have to respect that," he said.

(Read more: The next thing you'll pay for online: Your privacy)

Schmidt also spoke of the recent backlash against the tech industry in San Francisco and elsewhere.

"We are very, very worried about this issue and the data suggests that the problem could get worse," Schmidt said.

If you look at the most recent studies of American economic growth, 99 percent of people saw no improvement over the last decade, he said.

Even though things will get worse before they get better, there can't be a slowing of progress, he said.

"The longer term solution is to realize that you can't hold back technology progress. There will be people who will say, 'A robot took my job,' and I don't want that to happen. You are much better off as a society to take advantage of that technology."

By CNBC's Cadie Thompson. Follow her on Twitter @CadieThompson.

Contact SXSW

  • Julia Boorstin

    Working from Los Angeles, Boorstin is CNBC's media and entertainment reporter and editor of CNBC.com's Media Money section.

  • Ari Levy

    Ari Levy is CNBC.com's senior technology reporter in San Francisco.

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