When we first heard about Google Glass, we were very exited, so the project’s effect on privacy didn’t really cross our minds, but a recent preemptive ban on Google Glass in a Seattle bar, opened our eyes to the reality of the matter, Google Glass is a privacy threat!
Google smart glasses are not a smartphone you can keep in your pocket till you need it! The smart glasses are wearable on your head, unlike smartphones, no one will know when you are taking a picture or even recording/filming them.
To understand this issue ask yourself these questions:
Would you accept someone taking photos (without your knowledge and approval) of you (and the entourage) to post them online, or even sell them to the photo brokers, that will in their turn sell them to advertisers, designers etc … to be used in marketing material and design?
What about your kids, wife, sister etc… And what about video recording you and posting the video on Youtube? and that’s just some of the ways that this gadget threatens your privacy,… pictures of teenage girls, of couples kissing, of women asses, you name it …
Now imagine Bars, Nightclubs, Banks, Coffee shops, Restaurants, Hotels, Schools, Supermarkets, Shops, Malls …. do you think they will accept that you come with your head camera gadget and start shooting and filming random people without their consent ?
The answer is No.
Is it limited to the above places or is there a public privacy threat?
You might think walking with these Glasses would be cool, and that people will perceive you as cool, it might be true at the beginning but with time the curiosity look you are getting will be replaced with a hostile starring, that would soon be manifested in aggressions.
Google, have been compromising the public privacy for years, with the car fleets, that are taking photos of the roads and buildings, to enhance the Google Maps experience with the Google View project. The mighty company even had many lawsuits and legal problem because of the Google View project, so why now produce the same effect on a micro scale?
Yes you got the idea, eventually one way or the other, these smart glasses will become the eyes of Google, replacing the car Fleets, and business listings, the search giant will use the huge data input from the Glasses to precisely assign businesses and therefore have a much bigger chance of monetizing the maps and a huge list of services Google operates.
These Glasses will also give the tech giant a wealth of input data, which will pause a National threat to every self respecting nation, and the beauty of it, is that these head smart gadgets will be the responsibility of the user, and only the user will be liable for all the privacy breaches .
Google can address some of these concerns, by creating a very transparent operating system, making sure not to get input data throughout his different services (which is likely impossible because it’s against the company policy).
Here’s what Jimmy Wales (Founder of Wikipedia) have to say about Google Glass:
“The privacy implications are interesting, although of course it’s true that the ubiquity of cellphones and the social pressure not to stand around like a jerk filming people makes a difference.”