It hasn’t even been released yet and Congress has sent notice to Google about privacy concerns with the Google Glass. They also wanted to know how Google could ensure that the Glass wouldn’t unintentionally collect personal data without user consent. Part of the letter to CEO Larry Page read:
“Because Google Glass has not yet been released and we are uncertain of Google’s plans to incorporate privacy protections into the device, there are still a number of unanswered questions we share.” The letter was signed off by eight members of Congress. The deadline Google has to answer by is June 14 and included some examples of privacy issues from Google’s past to bolster their concerns about privacy related to the Google Glass.
It’s unknown if the Glass has preventative measures in it and it would seem like it would difficult to prevent privacy breeches such as filming and recording without permission if the person doesn’t even know its occurring. There are several devices that aren’t as high tech as the Google Glass out there that allows for this already as a matter of fact. You may have even seen them used in hidden camera segments in investigative journalism.
There’s nothing particular discreet about the Google Glass. It definitely stands out and with the concerns and such becoming news before its even released, it’s almost a certainty that some people and establishments will be on guard went the device is around and when people attempt to approach premises.
Perhaps the Google Glass will be accepted eventually. The mobile phone certainly became well accepted and it can easily be used in privacy breeching. The thing with the mobile phone however is that it became accepted as a near necessity, sure smartphones have more unnecessary stuff on it now than when the mobile phone picked up popularity and became something everyone could afford, but there is still that element of practical use to it.
The Google Glass will need to become common place and show that it has just as common a use as smartphones before it becomes widely accepted and fears are eased. A few people walking around with the device on their face isn’t going to help anything at all.
That said, if the Google Glass fails to catch on, it won’t be because the technology is no good and not worth investing in, it’ll come down to privacy concerns in the least and a particular strand of technophobia at most.