The Really, Really Creepy Thing About “Google Glass”

Google glass.  Just the latest breakthrough technology that everyone seems to be talking about.  I’m not a tech savvy guy and for much of my life I’ve been a pretty late adopter of new technologies, but the big brother concerns associated with the Google Glass seem worth highlighting.  From Mark Hurst:

Google Glass might change your life, but not in the way you think. There’s something else Google Glass makes possible that no one – no one – has talked about yet, and so today I’m writing this blog post to describe it.

The key experiential question of Google Glass isn’t what it’s like to wear them, it’s what it’s like to be around someone else who’s wearing them. I’ll give an easy example. Your one-on-one conversation with someone wearing Google Glass is likely to be annoying, because you’ll suspect that you don’t have their undivided attention. And you can’t comfortably ask them to take the glasses off (especially when, inevitably, the device is integrated into prescription lenses). Finally – here’s where the problems really start – you don’t know if they’re taking a video of you.

Now pretend you don’t know a single person who wears Google Glass… and take a walk outside. Anywhere you go in public – any store, any sidewalk, any bus or subway – you’re liable to be recorded: audio and video. Fifty people on the bus might be Glassless, but if a single person wearing Glass gets on, you – and all 49 other passengers – could be recorded. Not just for a temporary throwaway video buffer, like a security camera, but recorded, stored permanently, and shared to the world.

Google Glass is like one camera car for each of the thousands, possibly millions, of people who will wear the device – every single day, everywhere they go – on sidewalks, into restaurants, up elevators, around your office, into your home. From now on, starting today, anywhere you go within range of a Google Glass device, everything you do could be recorded and uploaded to Google’s cloud, and stored there for the rest of your life. You won’t know if you’re being recorded or not; and even if you do, you’ll have no way to stop it.

And that, my friends, is the experience that Google Glass creates. That is the experience we should be thinking about. The most important Google Glass experience is not the user experience – it’s the experience of everyone else. The experience of being a citizen, in public, is about to change.

Just think: if a million Google Glasses go out into the world and start storing audio and video of the world around them, the scope of Google search suddenly gets much, much bigger, and that search index will include you. Let me paint a picture. Ten years from now, someone, some company, or some organization, takes an interest in you, wants to know if you’ve ever said anything they consider offensive, or threatening, or just includes a mention of a certain word or phrase they find interesting. A single search query within Google’s cloud – whether initiated by a publicly available search, or a federal subpoena, or anything in between – will instantly bring up documentation of every word you’ve ever spoken within earshot of a Google Glass device.

Perhaps Google already has safeguards in place to avoid many of the above concerns.  I have no idea. Comments on this post are highly encouraged so we can have a heathy debate about it now.  At the least, this is something worth discussing before you go to happy hour with your buddy wearing a pair of these things.

Full article here.

In Liberty,
Mike

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11 Comments

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  1. I’m pretty sure there is a large group of people whose primary task is to come up with various ways to implement covert surveillance using technology. Guess whose money is being used to find them? Yours. You still want to donate to the cause?

  2. A couple quick thoughts. What Hurst is pointing out is something analogous to Second Hand Smoke. Never mind the smoker and his choices and experience, most Western nations have decided he can’t inflict his habit’s residue on you in a public setting, because it changes the environment for all. Now I abhor the Nanny State methods employed, but as an analogy it has utility.
    I imagine Google Glass will find itself a new factor in divorce litigation, just as Facebook has become. Inevitably, the user’s narcissism rats him out.
    I imagine that if enough people grasp Hurst’s points, and begin taking themselves and their privacy seriously, signs will pop up outside restaurants and other venues: “No smoking; No Google glass.” When challenged, a maitre d’ could credibly state: “We don’t allow video cameras here either. Whether you eat here depends upon your willingness to put them in their case and into your pocket, not any rule we have. As with a smoker.”
    Lastly, as the economy collapses no one’s going to be afford such piffle anyway, which suggests they’ll become standard eye ware for cops and an army of paid snitches. Coming soon to a demonstration near you.

  3. Google was seeded by the CIA tech investment
    Fund Who also funded Facebook. But as google says “do no evil ”
    Nice double speak by them

  4. Here is a link from FORBES about it !! Not a tinfoil talk
    Real legit out in the open http://www.forbes.com/2010/11/19/in-q-tel-cia-venture-fund-business-washington-cia.html

  5. Sounds like a great public-nuisance class-action lawsuit for any aspiring lawyers trying to make a difference (and a buck… Class action = $pay day$)

  6. I suspect, if folks become vocal about their desire for privacy w/ regard to this tech, the market will provide a google glass breaker, that allows audio/video jamming. A sort of anti-google glass.

    • The market already makes cell signal blockers and jammmers, but they are illegal. I for one would love to be able to travel without being subjected to microwave radiation while stuck in a metal box! no, i think seclusion is the only viable option here, or perhaps some of that anti-drone clothing. ugh…

  7. So in reality as this technology blossoms so will the intelligence of the CIA. For after all they are footing some of the bill and will in time want their slice of the pie. Your every move will be recorded in the clouds of cyber space for ever with you knowledge . Do you really know who has control of the info provided by google glass? You don’t You only know what your are told with out proof!!…………Google Glass inhanced by The CIA!!

  8. I`m done. i`m done with this shit. I want a private life and I want the right to not have everyone in the world instantly know who i am, how much money i`ve got, where I live, and who I know. I`m starting a religion and one of the dictates of that religion will be that covering your face in public is a virtue, male OR female.

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