Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is very confident that user data stored by the company is safe.

During a panel discussion at South during Southwest Interactive Festival, Schmidt said he is “pretty sure” data of the users of the search engine giant is safe particularly from the government. According to him, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) was enhancing its encryption process before Edward Snowden exposed the internet surveillance programs such as PRISM, a a clandestine mass electronic surveillance data mining program of the National Security Agency (NSA).

Schmidt emphasized that the search engine giant expedited the improvement of its encryption process after Snowden revealed information about the spying programs of the NSA.

“We were attacked by the Chinese in 2010 and the NSA in 2013. We are pretty sure the information that is inside of Google right now is safe from prying eyes, especially the government. We think your data is very safe.”

During the panel discussion, Schmidt also pointed out, “Information is very powerful. It can be used and misused, and you have to respect that.” According to him, once a person published something online, it will stay there.

With regard to the issue regarding the growing financial inequality and the successive protests in San Francisco, Schmidt said he is “very worried” about it. According to him, the average person in the city benefited from automation, globalization, and technology. He also suggested that inequality will become the number one problem of democracies.

Schmidt suggested three solutions to resolve the problem include including supporting startups, more education, information, and technology, and creating safety nets for people who lose their jobs. He supports President Barack Obama’s initiative in promoting education in science, technology, engineering, and math to produce professionals with the right skills to fill the available positions in the technology industry.

“When you look at the solutions to the problems that you’re describing, which ultimately lead to severe joblessness, they all involve creating fast-growth startups. The longer term solution is to recognize that you can’t hold back technology progress.”