Lawmakers are a little worried about Google Glass, Google's wearable computer that allows users to take photos and video from a device that looks like a pair of eyeglasses, because Google can't ensure passersby won't be videotaped or photographed without permission.
Lawmakers Have Google Glass Privacy Concerns
Updated at 12:30 PM PDT on Tuesday, Jul 2, 2013
Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.), co-chairman of the caucus, wanted boundaries created and that data collection by Google should be limited. “There does not appear to me to be strong privacy protections for the population at large, or even ownership protection for the user of the Google Glass product,” Barton told the Post.
Google indicated that Google Glass operated on a vocal or physical cue as well as the headset glowing while in use. This is supposed to make everyone aware they are possibly being filmed or photographed. Luckily Google has no plans to create a database of people's faces for facial-recognition software.
“We’re at a point where the technology is outstripping the common-sense ability to protect people’s basic privacy rights," Barton said.
Lawmakers have also been busy writing up laws to ban Google Glass from cars as a safety hazard. Think about a person driving and using Google Glass at the same time -- do you trust that his or her eyes and mind are on the road? West Virginia doesn't have a lot of faith drivers will pay attention.
All this got a little more complicated when a Google Glass app for electric car company Tesla was launched Tuesday. GlassTesla purports to give users control over various car functions, such as checking battery charge, controlling the interior temperature or honking its horn. Automating the car isn't new, and for many, a simply app may not do it. Ford is working hard on EVOS, its cloud-connected car wired to give data aplenty to drivers. However, it took Steve Wozniak to ask where all the data mined from car users was going and if it will be protected, such as where you drove, what speed and even what songs you may have listened to while driving.
We think people should be pondering their privacy instead of unquestioningly succumbing to a new technology.