Google Glass – The End of Privacy?

Google‘s latest next-big-thing is raising quite a few eyebrows. These cute glasses are designed to no-google_glassallow the wearer to look around and have data related to what the wearing is looking at pop up right in front of their eyes. Everything from their calendar through which restaurant is offering a special promotion will be there on their screen. Kinda cool. But there’s a very dark side to the glasses.

Google’s Glass contains built-in video camera technology, which uploads a stream of photos of what you’re looking at up to the Internet. These recordings will be stored and analyzed by Google – perhaps forever.

And what about hackers? Think about it for a second. You’re walking around wearing a video camera. It’s in your house, including your bedroom and shower. Don’t think that will be a target?

According to “Stop the Cyborgs,” (an anonymously-run web site), there’s lots to be concerned about:

We are already continually tracked though smart phones, online tracking, banking transactions, and CCTV. So why all the fuss about a smart phone on your face?

  • Google has the marketing power to make acting like ‘Creepy Cameraman’ socially acceptable.Would you have even considered wearing a hidden spy camera or recording conversations a few years ago? Well soon everyone will be doing it and finding you odd for objecting.
  • There is no way to know if you are being recorded by someone wearing Google Glass or a similar device. This is in contrast to a smart phone where the user must visibly hold the camera up to take a picture or record video. We must therefore assume that we are being recorded at all times(and possibly publicly broadcast) from a low angle where ones face is clearly visible.
  • Even if the user is not recording video, audio for their own use it may still be being collected and processed in the cloud in order to display contextual information using image, object, face, voice identification and speech recognition. (so called augmented reality) for example.
    • Display the G+ or Facebook profile of the person you are looking at.
    • Give you reviews of the item you are looking at in a shop.
    • Give Google debugging or image recognition training information.
  • Information about you will not just sit in some database, read only by the security services and bored IT workers but rather will delivered directly to the people you are interacting with for example.
    • What is your Klout score?
    • Does your face look like someone on the sexual offenders list?
    • Do you have any criminal convictions?
    • Are your voice patterns correlated with stress and therefore lying?
    • What is your relationship status?
    • What is your credit rating?
    • Map of where you are normally seen.