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Is Google Glass Infringing Privacy?

For every Android developer and fan, the bygone week was nothing short of a treat. With Google conducting major sessions for developers on improved environment for Android apps development to unveiling advanced features for some of its services namely Google+,  Google Maps, Google Now etc, the show was a hit in every sense of the word.  However, amidst the good there was certain speculations and concern that has put some members of U.S. congress at unrest.  This concern was pertaining to the much hyped gadget of Google, the ‘Google Glass’.

google glass
(Image Source)

Politician and member of Congressional Bi-Partisan Privacy Caucus,   Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) along with seven other of his colleagues has written a letter to Mr. Larry Page, Co-founder and CEO of Google,  seeking explanations with respect to’ infringement of privacy’ that the gadget may entail. As many as eight questions have been raised of the following nature:

  1. Will Google ‘plan to prevent Google Glass from unintentionally collecting data about the user/non-users without consent?
  2.  What proactive steps shall Google take to protect the privacy of non-users when Google Glass Is in use? Additionally, if Google Glass users decide to dispose to re-sale the device, is there a product capability within the devices that allows users to protect their private data?
  3. Is it true that the Facial Recognition Technology will allow Glass users to procure personal information about individuals they are viewing through the Glass?
  4. What will be the parameters of rejecting a Request that are “unreasonable, repetitive, risk of privacy of others and requires disproportionate technical effort”.
  5.  Has Google considered making any additions or refinement to its privacy policy?
  6. What nature of information will Google collect from its users? And whether the information collected will be in the knowledge of the user?
  7. Will Google make Privacy a priority for future apps developer?
  8. Will Google Glass have the capacity to store any data onto the device? And will Google ensure some sort of user authentication system so as to safeguard data?

google glass
(Image Source)

The concerns raised in these questions are serious as well as relevant. From the feel of it, Google Glass seems to be a great device and nothing short of a technological miracle. However, from a very logical stand, there are questions that need to be responsibly addressed. Apart from the how the users will use this device; there are concerns over the kind of application that the new gadget will support. For example,  Michael DiGiovani, creator of the Glass application ‘Winky’, that allows any picture to be taken with just a blink of the eye has evoked major concern over privacy restrictions of Google Glass app developers.

The Google Glass team has assured that privacy will be a top priority. Mr. Steve Lee the product director of Google Glass said that “You’ll know when someone with Glass is paying attention to you. If you’re looking at Glass, you’re looking up.” This implies that Google Glass is not a mysterious, hidden device and when someone is using it, others will come to know about it.

To sum it up, the technological superiority of Google Glass is unprecedented, however public sale and purchase of such a product does raised pertinent questions related to privacy and security.  At the I/O developer conference 2013, several developers were given training on how to develop applications for this new device. At the same time few social media veterans have severely criticized on the public usage of Google Glass. We will have to wait and watch the future of this device and how it is will impact individuals and varied aspects of day to day life.

Written By

Shanal works as an UI designer at TechAhead, a leading iPhone development company. He loves to spend his time reading books and searching for latest technology news. TechSling is one of his favourite sites where you can find him.



  1. FrankCern

    June 11, 2013 at 2:02 am

    I think this will be a major issue for Google Glass. Unscrupulous app developers can cause serious havoc with this technology as regards to personal privacy.

  2. Dan

    June 11, 2013 at 9:29 am

    I think the default applications of Google Glass are not a problem regarding privacy. Also, Glassware (applications developed for Google Glass) will be heavily restricted. Google already banned facial recognition from its device in response to the letter from the Congress.

  3. santosh Kumar

    June 11, 2013 at 10:40 am

    Great post, I like your post . you nicely describe the google glass.

  4. Alex

    June 11, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    Hi Shanal, no one has a doubt about the fact that Google glass is a technology miracle but I too have the same question as others – what will happen to the privacy of those who aren’t using it. However, it was relieving enough to know that it is nothing sort of a hidden device. People will know who is using it, and can take measures for safeguarding personal information.

  5. myles

    June 11, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    I personally think there are going to be issues like, that. but since google will have something for thiss to. As they cannot simply forget the privacy and security thing.

  6. Michael

    June 12, 2013 at 10:45 am

    Alarm bells are ringing very loudly over here. Not only is the app potentially very invasive, just imagine the number of creepy uses individual scan put it to.

  7. Steve Morris

    June 12, 2013 at 11:46 am

    I think that over time privacy concerns will fade. Google Glass is just one more piece of the tech jigsaw. There are already many technologies that erode our privacy, and more and more will follow. Many of the potentially most useful apps (e.g. face recognition) are the ones that most challenge privacy concerns.

  8. Johndevid5311

    June 28, 2013 at 8:23 am

    Actually I am also think its more positive news for the real estate market. I think it make a biggest change in real estate field. Thank you for this posting. Keep it up.

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