Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Private Eyes: Is Google Glass going to be a privacy problem?

In recent tech news, Google Glass has taken the spotlight. Almost everyone in the industry is dying to get their hands on Project Glass, which is currently being Beta tested by thousands of "Explorers". When they hit the shelves, they'll sell like hot cakes, but, is the next big thing from Google an invasion of your privacy?

Google Glass is an interactive wearable computer that you put on like glasses. Equipped with a transparent computer screen over the right eye, Glass allows the user to send emails, post to social media outlets, take photos or videos and browse the Internet. It is all controlled by voice, touch and gesture. Sounds impressive to most, but it is scary to some. 

In a tidbit from New York Times video cast from March of this year, Scott Cleland (who is introduced as a "Consultant for Google's competitors") argues that Google Glass is a violation of ones privacy. Cleland mentions that if you're sitting in a Starbucks with a friend, someone could record your conversation with Glass and you would never know it. He also explains that all of the data that is saved on Glass is sent to Google and stored in their cloud. So is he hitting it on the head or is he just paranoid? 

I'm sure that Cleland is not alone when when he discusses privacy issues with Google. However, I don't really think it's a big deal. The fact is, almost everyone has a smart phone nowadays. Your Starbucks conversations can easily be recorded with these devices. Some stranger could take your picture and upload it to Facebook faster than you can say Venti Skinny Iced Caramel Macchiato. Realistically, this can happen anywhere you go at any given time. 

Does this stop me from having coffee in public with a few friends? Nope. I'm sure that there is an extreme minority that is using technology in a bad way, and they'll likely do the same thing with Glass. I'm just not convinced that Google Glass is going to spawn an invasion of privacy epidemic that hasn't already happened with the onset of smart phone technology. 

If someone wants to record my conversations about baseball or my last trip to the movies, be my guest. And if Google wants to use that data to create better, more innovative and technologically advanced products, I'm happy to oblige. 

What are your thoughts on Google Glass? Will Glass be a problem in regards to your privacy?

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View The New York Times TimesCast below: