Google Glass may be in its early stages as the next hotly-anticipated tech gadget, but it is already being hotly contested by those with apprehensions about privacy, safety and security.
These concerns are not without merit, even as they are downplayed by the Google Glass “Explorers.”
Five current concerns about the new technology include:
1. Am I being recorded? There is no external indicator light to show that Google Glass is in recording mode, but allegedly people who are close by can see a light when the system is on.
According to Heather Kelly’s article, Google Glass users fight privacy fears, “Legally, Glass users have the same rights as photographers when it comes to recording and photographing in public. You can photograph anything in plain view, including strangers, while in public places. Because video recordings include audio, the ACLU points out that state wiretapping laws might make some video recordings illegal.”
But just how will you know if you are being recorded?
2. Are my kids being photographed? Most of the hype to endear parents to this technology centers on capturing a child’s milestones and sharing them with friends and family. But with Google Glass it can be difficult to tell if someone is, in fact, taking photos of your child without your knowledge or permission. And what about public restrooms?
3. Who owns and controls that data generated and stored by the device? One of the “features” of the device is that the data (photos, videos, etc.) can be automatically uploaded to Google services, social media or other cloud-based storage.
How are intellectual property rights going to be affected – and protected – when proprietary information is uploaded without permission? Movie theaters worried about piracy have added Google Glass to the list of recording devices prohibited for audience members with a patron recently pulled from a movie and interrogated by the Department of Homeland Security.
4. What are the risks to corporations and enterprises? There are a number of productive uses for the device in the workplace, but some businesses, including casinos have banned wearable computer screens, for a variety of reasons.
Could dishonest users plot physical layouts of buildings with uploaded photos and plan terrorist attacks or robberies? Not to mention loss or theft of a device that has been used for work.
5. How safe is it to wear while driving, biking or walking? A San Diego woman was pulled over for speeding and given an additional ticket for wearing Google Glass while driving. The device is considered a distraction much like a cell phone.
Doubtless there will be much debate in this case, because this is after all a “hands free” device and allows users to get directions and information. That said, you do have to divert your eyes from the road to see the tiny screen.
Google Glass, along with other wearable technology, is in its infancy. There are many commendable aspects to such devices and they are being used innovatively in a variety of industries, including sports, firefighting and surgery.
Wearable technology has the potential for massive transformation in many industries. The Mind Commerce report Wearable Technology in Industry Verticals 2013-2018 evaluates the wearable technology marketplace with emphasis on drivers and adoption within various industries.