Will Google Glass be the next big privacy violation?

google-glass-banThe media and social buzz surrounding Google Glass has reached a fever pitch after Google recently released a video on YouTube showcasing its capabilities.

Glass is one of Google’s newest creations about to make its way into the mainstream. The glasses are essentially a heads-up display running the Android operating system. Users will use voice commands to operate the device, which will be capable of performing the same functions as today’s Android smartphones. Among other features, the device will record video (or stream it live), take pictures, and provide spoken/visual directions. Like Android smartphones, the device can automatically and instantaneously back up and share data with Google Drive, Google’s cloud storage option for Android.

Image: StopTheCyborgs.org

Image: StopTheCyborgs.org

Privacy concerns have arisen with regard to Glass’s ability to record/share video and take photos hands-free. A light will appear in front of the device when it is recording video; however, unsuspecting people could fall victim to being recorded unknowingly and/or unwillingly. Such videos could be stored and searched-for indefinitely on the cloud. And Google Glass can take an automatic photo every few seconds seconds and transmit it back to Google’s servers, essentially turning any Google Glass wearer into a walking Google surveillance camera.

An advocacy group, Stop The Cyborgs, launched to spread the word and hand out “No Google Glass Zone” stickers. Several restaurants have already declared themselves Google Glass-free zones.

When we picture a real-life heads up display, we still can't help but think of Halo.

When we picture a real-life heads up display, we still can’t help but think of Halo.

Although Glass is not yet available to the general public, Google has already selected its first group of “Glass Explorers” to begin beta testing the device. People can still stay informed about potential opportunities for testing at a later date and be involved in the feedback process.




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