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Google Glass – A Need For New Tech Etiquette

An interesting article in The Telegraph regarding Google Glass and how techno-quette will need to change to reflect the potential of invasion of privacy unknown previously.

The vision of constant surveillance is the one raised by Google Glass, nonetheless. The wearable computer that Google hopes we will all be wearing like glasses comprises a tiny camera, a microphone and a screen. Our every sight will be augmented with extra information, and everything recorded.    (For more about Google Glass, read here.)

As Google’s Eric Schmidt put it, “We’ll have to develop some new social etiquette. It’s obviously not appropriate to wear these glasses in situations where recording is not correct.” And indeed you have this problem already with phones. Companies like Google have a very important responsibility to keep your information safe but you have a responsibility as well which is to understand what you’re doing, how you’re doing it, and behave appropriately and also keep everything up to date.”

This technology brings up two, at least, very interesting and troubling etiquette dilemmas.  1) That a Google Glass wearer can record anything, any time, anywhere, anyone without it being explicitly obvious that they are.   2) Augmented reality which creates scenarios previously unknown in social and civil interchanges.   For example, you could be introduced to a new person who is promptly accessing your Facebook profile to instantly know more about you than you cared to have revealed on first meeting.

The issue of privacy is one that has been increasing in an Instagram and Facebook world.   We’ve already seen stories of party goers and hosts discovering dozens of photos of what should have been a private function plastered all over social media.   With Google Glass, one does not know when the recording is occurring and worse, it could be streamed live.   Anyone within proximity of a Google Glass wearer knows he/she had better be on their best behavior lest one wrong slip ends up going viral.   A person should have an expectation of personal privacy even in public places, meaning if one chooses to go shopping at the corner market, you should expect to not see images of yourself published online.

I have a good lawyer who represents Ehell’s legal interests and over the years the primary concern was protection of privacy of private citizens who may be the subject of the stories published to the site and in books.   On occasion people send me stories that are so full of credible identity markers that I cannot use them.   Until people choose to identify themselves, I have no legal right to pull the mask off the face.   When I read about Google Glass, I wonder if we are heading to a crisis breaking point where it will become illegal to film or record people who have not given permission to be filmed.   In the US it is already illegal in most states to record a telephone conversation unless both parties consent so the laws need to keep pace with the technology.

Augmented  reality will change how we socially interact with each other.   Wearing your Google Glass, you can access a LinkedIn profile, Facebook or MySpace, etc. and instantly have a considerable knowledge advantage over the person you’ve just met.   Education, marital status, current and past employment are accessed.  How does one handle the situation if, upon newly meeting someone, they ask, “I see you have a grandson named Luke.   Do you enjoy being a grandma?”   You hadn’t intended to give that piece of information out on first acquaintance but the Google Glass wearer and your sloppy security has left you vulnerable and awkward.   Should we really have to go to considerable lengths to secure our privacy or should people have an innate deference to protecting other people’s privacy?


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Mer April 29, 2013, 3:47 am

    This is an important topic. In addition to things mentioned in the post, all these new devices and also the trend to transfer data to internet, raises question about all the “publicly private” data we have. I can only refer to my own country, but for example here person’s tax/income information is public – in theory. In reality, one has had to go to the office and request the data, observe it, perhaps write it down etc. So actually it has been very unlikely that somebody would check their neighbors’ or other acquaintances’ incomes and use it for something. Now, say you go into the office and request the data with Google glasses on. One would need to just leaf through it and have everything stored. Pattern recognition algorithms are already quite good so changing picture data to text/other more usable forms.

    So now it would take only very little trouble to have everybody’s information out there and easily acquirable. Not something that has been originally in mind when deciding about the publicity of the data. (I would suspect that originally it has made ‘public’ so that bribing or other immoral actions would be rarer as somebody _could_ check your information.)

  • Lo April 29, 2013, 5:41 am

    This is the reason I’ve deleted facebook, myspace, etc.

    We’re definitely headed for a world with no privacy. It makes me feel old to say it, but I’m not on board with the direction of the future.

    I do think the etiquette of wearing a recording device is fairly well set, however. Out on the street in public is fair game. Anything else is situational. At a party at a friend’s house– sure, why not? Having a one-on-one conversation with your friend? Kind of weird. Inside a place of business? Probably not a good idea.

    But these things may change as it becomes more commonplace.

  • SS April 29, 2013, 7:22 am

    I don’t see how accessing someone’s facebook through a google glass is any different than the people who whip out their smart phones and look up your facebook page upon meeting another person. This happens frequently. I do not consider it to be an ‘invasion of privacy’ to access information someone already chose to throw out there to strangers on their facebook or other social media pages. This was information that they already chose to make public to complete strangers.

    However, I do have concerns about the ease of recording in private situations which have already been identified as problems even with cellphones…. such as dressing rooms, restrooms, cinemas (for bootlegging movies), etc. This will become even more difficult to control. I already see about half of a concert audience using their phones to record most of a concert even after multiple announcements that recording are not allowed. The attitude of “if I want to do it, you can’t stop me” has become the social norm.

  • elicat April 29, 2013, 7:41 am

    I shudder to think how many people will drive with these on if this product becomes available at an affordable price.

  • PhDeath April 29, 2013, 7:53 am

    Compelling thoughts throughout, Admin! I’d like to add to the mix a (perhaps) less disturbing, but significant social implication I see of Google Glass. It’s tough enough to get anyone to put down their cell phone or tablet for 5 minutes of uninterrupted conversation or personal attention. What will be the implications of being able to “sneak looks” of a virtual world through one’s specs, rather than listening to one’s social companion?

  • yokozbornak April 29, 2013, 8:02 am

    This is one of the multitude of reasons why I choose not to use Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and MySpace. There is no such thing as privacy anymore, but I am doing my best to protect what little I have. Companies like Google and Facebook exist to data mine our information and sell it to the highest bidder.

  • Nathan Neulinger April 29, 2013, 8:14 am

    Might want to check your facts on the “already illegal in most states … unless both parties consent” for recording a phone conversation – in fact, only 11-13 of the states require that, and of those 13, one is “notification only”, and two are subject to interpretation…

  • The Elf April 29, 2013, 8:40 am

    I don’t think it’ll be much of a concern. Who’d want a little bit of glass with a constant stream of information on it right in front of their face the whole time, disconnecting them from everyone around them?

    Oh, wait……

  • Anonymous April 29, 2013, 8:45 am

    Jeanne, I think you’ve just summed up the reasons why most people probably won’t be jumping on the Google Glass bandwagon at the first opportunity. Also, I think the people in the photo look slightly ridiculous in them, not to mention the fact that wearing that sensor thing in front of your eye all day long is probably kind of annoying. I agree with you about the privacy thing, though–I mean, not everyone is at their best, all the time, even in public. With Google Glass, everyone would feel like they have to be “on” all the time, so they’d be uncomfortable, say, going out to get the newspaper in their pajamas, or even if something spontaneously embarrassing happened, like spilling spaghetti on your lap at a restaurant, or accidentally clotheslining someone with your dog’s leash on a crowded jogging path (don’t laugh; this happened to me yesterday). It’d be like perpetually living in one of those “Funniest Home Videos” shows.

  • Jay April 29, 2013, 8:49 am

    I think it’ll force people to be more aware of the personal information they have out there. Glass doesn’t really enable anything new from an information-gathering perspective — you could also excuse yourself for 2 minutes to go to the bathroom and check their facebook from your iPhone. It just makes it much easier and faster. So people really will need to avoid putting up personal information that they want to stay personal.

    Now the video streaming.. that’s another thing entirely.

  • Mae April 29, 2013, 8:51 am

    This kind of thing makes me uneasy. Almost every facet of our lives are recorded these days and it makes me uncomfortable knowing that complete strangers could just look up anything about me. That is one of the reasons I try to limit the amount of information about myself that is on the WWW.

    Everyone deserves privacy. I think movie/music stars should be able to go to the grocery store, out to lunch, drop their kids off at school, etc. without it being recorded and made into a major event. (I know that could be an entirely different post, just using it as an example) As a private citizen, I want to be able to go to the grocery store or wherever without wondering if anyone wearing an unusual type of glass frame is recording what I do, what I buy, how I pay or if they are are looking up things about me on the web.

    I think there are *some* pros to having things recorded- helping to solve crimes and such, but there are many cons as well. When every little thing you do is recorded, and possibly put on the web, I think it’s a very dangerous, intrusive and frightening. What’s next? ID or GPS chipping us?

  • Mae April 29, 2013, 8:58 am

    Something Mer (comment #1) said jogged my memory- Does anyone remember the commercial that came out earlier this year where you could use your smartphone to take a picture of your W-2 info and some “app” could fill the tax forms for you? In theory, that could make it easier to get your taxes done, but that seems dangerous to me. If you lost your phone and did not realize it for a few hours (yes, there are still a few of us not attached to our phones), someone *could* get all the info they need about you to steal your identity.

  • Vandalia April 29, 2013, 9:04 am

    I wish I had the capability to develop a techno-gadget that blocked devices like this. I could make a pretty penny. I’m sure someone else will, and I will probably buy it because I like being unknown until I choose otherwise.

    • admin April 29, 2013, 9:22 am

      I thought there already was a device on the market that could block cell phone signals. The first I had heard of it was for churches to block congregants from accessing phones during services.

  • Dear! April 29, 2013, 9:15 am

    Sadly, I have a very blase’ attitude to things like this. I think since I grew up with social media Ive become numb to it all and have adapted accordingly. I remember when camera-phones were a hot issue. People in my area were in a tizzy with all of their “what ifs” and “maybes” (it drove me crazy since I’d had one for years and my grandparents and aunts and uncles were all of a sudden so afraid of this demon device) and now its very much a non-issue. The evil among us will be evil regardless, and they will gossip regardless, and do as they will, regardless. The lack of technology or availability of said technology doesnt really matter.

    However, most of the very private, and often TMI, info that is out there about an individual, is usually shared by their hands. Sad, I know. As far as social media and sharing is concerned, if you dont want that info easily accessed either dont put it up or set your page as private. I think people need to take a certain level of accountability when it comes to information share and what others can see. You wouldn’t leave your home’s front door wide open while you were doing any number of private activities or prance around in a state of undress in the streets, so why would you post that on an “Open” social media page. Im on social media, albeit less than I once was, but my page is private and there is very little personal info on there. If an employer or a person I met for the first time googled me or looked me up on facebook, im pretty confident nothing Im ashamed of will pop up.

    Personally, I dont think google glasses will take off or cause that much of a disturbance – they are rather quirky and I honestly can’t see most social media junkies, many of whom fancy themselves to be young, in the know, and fashionable – wearing them. But, I may be wrong…..

    There is one thing that really grinds my gears though…..funeral photos and accident scene photos being posted on social media. This is not so much about social media as it is about a decline in human decency and common sense. When did people think it was ok to post photos of the deceased in their coffins or post grusome accident photos online, many times a persons loved ones had even been informed there was an accident. I work in communications and actually had to send an internal message to all staff members before reagrding sharing these types of photos. Some people…

  • Leah April 29, 2013, 9:25 am

    Mae- I think most people with any common sense would just delete the photo & app as soon as he/she finished filing. Im guessing the app offered an email of the completed forms so that a person could print a hard copy, so no need to save the app. Besides, an app like that should be password protected.

  • Anonymous April 29, 2013, 9:36 am

    I’ve read that some shopkeepers and bar owners have already banned the glasses. I imagine we could do the same for private parties and other events. If you’re hosting a party and someone wears the things, ask that they take them off or don’t invite those people to your events.

  • Stacey Frith-Smith April 29, 2013, 9:38 am

    In the case of accessing social media profiles, the privacy settings selected by the user should be the controlling protocol for gatekeeper duties of confidential information. There will still be concerns but possibly not insurmountable. I think we have transitioned from actual privacy created by space and freedom of movement to social privacy created by etiquette’s impact on the use of many forms of technology in close quarters. Information on hand doesn’t translate to information that can be socially acknowledged. (So, I may know several things about you from what friends have shared with me when we meet at a dinner party or other social event. However, I would not be free to converse on these subjects until you opened a door by communicating about them and indicating your willingness to personally communicate such facts to me.) It’s the same with techno-etiquette. No one should be commenting on another person or otherwise identifying them in a way that is personal and specific without their consent. It does not, however, mean that a diligent internet search would fail to turn up some quantity of useful information that will prejudice new acquaintances- favorably or otherwise.

  • Namárië April 29, 2013, 9:48 am

    1. There is a bright white light on the glasses to indicate that you are recording (not noticeable to the wearer, but others can see it). Not to mention, you have to tell it out loud to record! (You say, “ok, glass, record a video.”)

    2. I think it would be pretty awkward to meet someone wearing Google Glass and then command it out loud to google/look up on facebook/linkedIn the person you’re meeting. (You say, “ok, glass, google so-and-so.”) I doubt it would happen, though, since it’s so obvious. It’s way easier to be subtle with a smartphone.

    3. There are cell phone jammers, however they are illegal. Can you imagine someone using one in an emergency situation?

  • TLO April 29, 2013, 10:20 am

    I think the fact that Google Glass will do so much to help people who have limited upper mobility (such as a friend of mine with AMC) really overrides any concern I personally have about people invading my privacy. From my point of view, we can control a lot about what we choose to put online. I really think the benefits will outweigh the cost. A bunch of us (friends / family) donated so that this friend of mine could test it out and hopefully make her everyday life a lot easier.

  • --Lia April 29, 2013, 10:24 am

    I keep wondering, and maybe this is naive of me, if there isn’t some limit to how much embarrassing information the public wants to see. After you’ve see a few hundred pictures of people with their clothes in disarray, with spaghetti sauce spilled on their blouses, even sitting on toilets or in sexual situations, isn’t there a point when people wince, shrug, and say “why on earth would anyone post that online. It’s ordinary and boring and not something I’m interested in seeing.”

  • Daisy April 29, 2013, 10:32 am

    This all seems to me to be tending in a very dangerous direction, and I find it amusing that the same people who are enthusiastic about the possibilities of using Google Glass themselves will be horrified when police forces everywhere adopt them. Imagine every police officer with instant access to everything about you, including every photo and comment you post on Facebook, and the names of all your friends if you’ve been so indiscreet as to tag them. Imagine that they can record everything about every interaction with you, from beginning to end. Imagine how much time defense lawyers will spend trying to have those recordings ruled inadmissable in court! Google Glass will be a great solution to the unemployed lawyer problem.

  • NostalgicGal April 29, 2013, 10:42 am

    Our technology outstrips our society. As for privacy, why do you have 3 blogs, Facebook, Instagram, a Twitter account, and have to update what you just ate for lunch… then NOW you’re worried about privacy if someone walks up to you with a pair of these on?

    I learned way back in the late 90’s that once something is posted, the internet never forgets it. It has radically shaped the way I approach all social media, and no, I still do NOT have a Facebook account, I hate Bing and Chrome, and I don’t text message or tweet.

    You can regret your youtube posts forever. Same thing for all the other twat you want to post. This isn’t going to change things much from the attached-at-hip cellphone (raises hand, I caved for 18 months and counting of a slab smartphone… that I know how to turn off and DO) except the added distraction of what if you drive with these glasses-things on? I hope we all get DARPA cars soon or the roads will degenerate into ‘stay off them at all costs’.

    Losing social skills, unless we all get personal jammers that will be ruled illegal because it will infringe on others’ rights to be connected, there isn’t much to be done. There was a science fiction story of years back about portable time and space viewers, and you could look into the past and anywhere… so. Welcome to the Fishbowl. We can all be rockstars with self-mass paparazzi. Big Brother is laughing, all he has to do is sit and wait.

  • cwm April 29, 2013, 10:50 am

    I agree with several of the other people who say that what we decide to put online is almost always in our hands. There are a few exceptions, I do have a few overly zealous friends who want to tag me on everything, but for the most part I give them a gentle reminder that I don’t want people seeing things like that and remove the tag.

    For me, it’s not a huge deal. It’s no worse than cell phones or tiny recording devices put into commonplace devices such as pens. People are already recording everything, there’s no way it can be stopped. And those who don’t get Google glass will probably still be using their phones/tablets/laptops for the exact same things.

    When I was in college and joining a sorority, I learned something important about hazing and personal information. It’s called the grandma rule. Don’t do something you wouldn’t want your grandma to see. Now some of us have some grandmas with some sick, twisted senses of humor, but the rule still stands. If you don’t want someone’s grandma seeing it, just don’t put it out there. It’ll save a LOT of headache later down the road.

  • Angel April 29, 2013, 11:30 am

    I don’t like this–Google Glass or whatever it’s called. I won’t be purchasing one and will walk away if I see a friend or family member wearing it. I have a facebook account and use to post photos for friends and family members who live far away. I don’t do much else with it other than post PTA news in our closed group, and message people who I wouldn’t otherwise be able to get in touch with. There’s not a lot on there that most people don’t know already. I don’t need to be connected every minute of the day. To me it’s scary to think of some people actually purchasing these glasses and using them in every day situations. But, it’s also not very surprising. For every piece of questionable technology out there, there are probably thousands of people who think it’s a great idea!!

  • FlatCat April 29, 2013, 11:40 am

    I feel the need to point out that it is not entirely accurate to say that Google Glass can record at any time without others knowledge. In efforts to make the new technology integrate better in to social situations, and avoid incidences like the assault on Prof. Steve Mann for his “cyborg” glasses, Google Glass is supposed to make it readily apparent what the user is doing via voice commands. In order to record, you must clearly state “ok, glass, record a video,” and an indicator light appears externally for others to see. (likewise audio commands for search engines, etc.) There are plenty of ways to secretly record, luckily Google Glass isn’t one of them (yet).

    One specific product, though, still does not address the issue of privacy in the digital age. Many countries have legal limits placed on taking pictures or using pictures of others without their permission. Interestingly, of the 31 countries Wikimedia Commons has documentation of photography rights for, only the United States, China, and Slovenia allow people to take pictures and publish them without permission. ( http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Country_specific_consent_requirements ) Perhaps our legal system needs some catching up with our technology.

    I hope this adds some interesting information to the discussion!

  • E April 29, 2013, 11:58 am

    There are jammers that block cell phone signals, but I understand they are illegal – and they should be. What if there was an emergency – someone had a heart attack, or a shooter entered the church. Everyone would be blocked from making a potentially life-saving call. Why? Just for the convenience of a ring-free service? That can be accomplished through signs or by the pastor asking everyone to turn off their ringer. Jammers are actually very dangerous, that much should be obvious.

  • Library Diva April 29, 2013, 12:08 pm

    You don’t control quite as much as you might think. As admin said, anyone, anywhere can take your photo and post it on Facebook, and you may never even know that it has been done. It’s not so much that you don’t want your future employer seeing that goofy twerking video you made with your girlfriends or those nude photos your ex posted, or you drunk at Cancun ten years ago, etc. It’s about how public you want your private habits to be. Do you want the entire world knowing what you read, what you watch on TV, what movies you like, everyplace you’ve ever worked, visited or just been? Do you want corporations to have access to all of that information to market to you? Do you want government agencies to be able to create a complete profile on all of your habits? It’s a little scary when you think about it that way.

  • Kovitlac April 29, 2013, 12:15 pm

    I hope people understand that there will be (and currently are) tools on FaceBook, Twitter, MySpace, etc that manage your privacy. If you don’t want people to be able to spontaneously look you up and see everything about you, then set your privacy tools in that manner. When it comes to my page, the only people who can see anything (besides simply my name and profile picture) are those who I approved via a friend request. I can’t imagine FaceBook would take that sort of option away. It annoys me when people fear what’s already out there when they themselves haven’t even bothered to look into the tools they have at their disposal. It reminds me of parents who insist their children cannot play video games solely because ‘there’s violent content out there’, despite the fact that all consoles have parental control options.

    I’m not saying that everyone needs to embrace every aspect of the future, but at least realize that you have the responsibility to protect yourself, and are given the tools to do so.

  • Calli Arcale April 29, 2013, 12:23 pm

    Cracked.com had an amusing description of what would happen if people are using Google Glass and start browsing Wikipedia. You’d get on the bus, somebody would mention a song or a TV show, you’d idly go look it up, then you’d follow a link in that article, and the next thing you know the bus is on the other side of the state. 😀 (Which raises terrifying questions about *drivers* wearing these things, of course.)

  • kingsrings April 29, 2013, 2:02 pm

    This will just make people even more addicted to technology than they already are, but of course that is the whole selling point of this device. Putting all the privacy and other issues aside, like someone else on here already said, people look ridiculous with them on! Like people don’t already look ridiculous (and like complete, dependent tech addicts) enough with those silly Bluetooths on. Don’t make anymore of a fool of yourself out in public by also wearing this.

  • Elsie April 29, 2013, 2:09 pm

    I’m a little more with the admin for this, because I recently discovered that personal information got online that I have NEVER put online. I’m a little more cautious, though I don’t partake in social media (I do not see the appeal). Anything I did have I have since deleted out of inactivity (and hardly anything was on it – any pictures of me were posted by others, at formal events). While each individual should take more care for what they put online, there are companies and people out there that will find that information and put it online without you ever knowing. I think that is more the concern with these.

    But the solution? Don’t engage people wearing these. If someone were to wear them and go up to you, kindly ask them to remove them before speaking. If they cannot make that simple request, then turn and walk away.

    Though I’m very young, I have some “old fashioned” ideas about what I consider basic courtesy! Even something so simple as *don’t be on the phone when you are checking out at a register*. I think it’s rude. The teller deserves your respect and attention. So, it’s not so strange that I would request a friend – or a stranger – to please give me their full, undivided attention if they wish to speak with me. If they cannot do that, I will choose to walk away and they can interact with me when they can.

    But I am also a believer that these may not be readily accessible for a while. Or at least not to the daily person. I’m thinking within 10 years, sure, but in the next year? I’d be surprised. It may even only go to government or related agencies. It’s too soon on speculation road to be jumping on the wagon of drama. 🙂

    Also: cell-signal jammers were mentioned. I believe in most places in the USA, purchasing or using these devices is illegal. Further, you’d need a Wi-Fi blocker, as I am sure these will operate under Wi-Fi instead of cell signals (perhaps both, and probably link up with your other google products! hahaha)

  • Anonymous April 29, 2013, 2:15 pm

    P.S., I forgot to mention, when I had that mishap on the jogging path with my dog yesterday, nobody was hurt, and I apologized profusely.

  • kmockler@gmail.com April 29, 2013, 2:41 pm

    Is there a category of behavior between “Things I don’t mind if the whole world knows” and “Things I’m ashamed of” anymore? In other words, if it doesn’t jeopardize your employment standing or your relationships, is it 100% fair game? Are there still things that people would just like to selectively reveal, just because?

  • Tanz April 29, 2013, 5:33 pm

    What really worries me about these things is the attitude that if someone is in public it’s OK to record them: they’re ‘fair game’. I don’t understand this attitude. Doesn’t everyone have the basic right to control their own image? Do I have to become a hermit (impossible anyway, as I have kids) in order to exercise my right to not be photographed/taped and used as *others* see fit? I know this horse has bolted somewhat with CCTV and the like (which I hate and don’t agree with) but I think these ‘glasses’ just make the whole thing worse.

    I see no upside here.

  • Marozia April 29, 2013, 5:58 pm

    How do we know one day we may be sued for invasion of privacy with these Google glasses?

  • Debra April 29, 2013, 7:49 pm

    Cell phone jammers exist but as far as I am aware they are technically illegal in the United States for civilian use.

    As much as people should respect each other’s privacy, you have to be cognizant of what you are baring to the world.

  • The Elf April 30, 2013, 6:44 am

    Tanz, it’s a done deal, held up by the Supreme Court and everything. If you’re out in public, you have by default given permission to be photographed or recorded. It’s all about the “plain view doctrine”. That’s how paparazzi get away with a lot of what they do. What’s more, there’s lots of cameras everywhere capturing your image for security. On one hand, its things like that that enabled us to catch the Boston Marathon bombers. On the other, you lose all privacy.

    On private property, it all changes. So, yes, your answer is to become a hermit.

  • Mabel April 30, 2013, 6:56 am

    I think people need to be reminded: Just because you can, that doesn’t mean you should.

  • Selphie Trabia April 30, 2013, 8:40 am

    You know, cool as this technology is, I’m not entirely sure that the human brain (as it currently is), is capable of processing ALL the information that comes with a HUD at the same time as doing things like walking around or anything of the sort. It would be very distracting.

    I’m more concerned with the numbers of people that will be crashing their cars or walking into a traffic just because the green arrow told them so, or a video cued up at an inconvenient time or a friend suddenly called and all of a sudden, the entire world changes into that friend’s street view or something.

    I think that we might need to upgrade our brains first before we can use this technology. Either way, there’s more controversy to come in the future.

  • Elle April 30, 2013, 9:22 am

    Or you know, we could all calm down about what *might* happen until we actually see what the new technology can actually do in the real world.

  • MollyMonster April 30, 2013, 10:12 am

    What Google needs to do is sell the Glass and sell something called sunGlass–a pair of glasses that tells Glass that you want to be invisible. Then the software can’t record anyone wearing the sunGlasses–you appear as a blank spot. Poison–$1, antidote-$99. 😉

    The other slight bright side is that if these are widely adopted, there will be so many gaffes, goofs, freakouts, etc. hitting the airwaves that it will maybe become passe. So if your off-color joke is caught on video, it likely won’t go viral because there will be thousands of other off-color jokes uploaded regularly. And, when people aren’t getting the reactions they want, they will maybe stop uploading them. After all, how many idiots-face-planting-on-scooters videos are out there and does anyone really care anymore? The only people who would still have to worry are those who are famous already and those who caught abusing other people. A regular person isn’t going to get 15 minutes of fame because they freaked out in the grocery store when dozens of other people are being filmed freaking out in the department store right now. But if Sharon Stone freaks out in the store, it won’t be just TMZ taking video, it will be (and already is to some extent) everyone. And if you film yourself or someone else abusing another person or a child, well, at least it should make the court cases go more quickly.

    And if you go out in public in your favorite My Little Pony costume, your fuzzy purple pimp suit, your thong and see-through t-shirt, etc., you *have* to know you are going to get your photo snapped, and it will end up somewhere on the internet. You shouldn’t wear it out in public unless you want EVERYONE to see, and that has been the going rule for the last 10 years or so. That said, it takes wearing something really crazy to stand out from all the general crazy, which I guess is progress of some sort.

  • anon April 30, 2013, 12:14 pm

    I think you might be grossly overestimating Glass’s capabilities. If you meet someone who has Google Glass and they decide to look you up on Facebook, it isn’t going to be some secret subtle thing; you’re going to know they’re doing it the minute they say ‘Glass, look up Jane Doe on Facebook’ and start nodding up and down to get it to scroll down to the correct result, etc etc. It’s controlled by voice commands.

  • delislice April 30, 2013, 4:05 pm

    “Until people choose to identify themselves, I have no legal right to pull the mask off the face.”

    For me, it’s a matter of a moral right.

    We all have levels of reveal.

    There are some things I share with more-or-less anyone, and some things I talk about only with selected people and in selected situations.

    It is only material that I am comfortable with making public that I post on Facebook. Privacy settings aside, I got on to Facebook with an assumption that anything I said on there would be publicly available. As a result, I have a relatively boring Facebook history, but so be it.

    I assume if I am in public, my image might be recorded, but that for the most part, security camera footage is viewed only if there’s a reason for it. I assume that my driveway, of the house on a cul-de-sac off another cul-de-sac, is private, and that the only risk I run when fetching the paper in my jammies is that my butt might be seen by one of my neighbors, who are all nice.

    As for cell phone jammers, I have a real concern with people needing to receive life-changing phone calls, such as organ-transplant availability or a loved one’s end of life. Because such situations arise, I’m afraid we’re stuck with relying on people following requests/instructions about “please turn off your cell phones” or “please do not use your phones while _________.”

    I know that’s not-so-much working, in a lot of public places, but I’m still not okay with mass jamming of the devices.

  • ItsyBitsy April 30, 2013, 7:27 pm

    And this is why I am not on Facebook.

  • ItsyBitsy April 30, 2013, 7:32 pm

    A serious comment now. If you have already put out all this information on social media various, how can you be embarrassed/made uncomfortable/whatever, if someone equipped with these glasses brings it up in conversation?
    I am very much pro personal privacy so I don’t want to sound as if I am judging people harshly but, really, if you don’t want every tom, dick and harriet to know your business, don’t put it on the net.

  • Enna May 1, 2013, 10:50 am

    This is an intersting topic.

  • LawGeek May 2, 2013, 2:18 am

    Your lawyer is protecting you by drawing a wide berth around action that could result in civil liability. Don’t confuse the boundaries she sets for you with the boundaries of the law itself.

  • AthenaC May 3, 2013, 2:45 pm

    I identify most with Dear!’s comment. I think attitudes toward information sharing is primarily a generational thing. I know it really stresses my mom out, and she complains that “It’s the end to all privacy!” when a grocery store wants her name for a discount card. By contrast, look how Scarlett Johanssen reacted when someone hacked her phone and shared her nude pics: “Of course I had them on my phone – I took them for my husband! Plus I know I look great in them.” Big shrug.

    With my generation (I’m 30 and my husband is 25), information everywhere just seems to be a fact of life. There’s not a whole lot you can do about it, so you can either let it stress you out or you can ignore it and move on with life. Also, don’t do stupid, illegal things that can come back to haunt you if someone decides to go looking. But then again, you shouldn’t be doing those stupid, illegal things anyway, social media or no social media.

    It’s worth remembering that with the overwhelming cacophony of information on everyone out there, my information (and yours) doesn’t stand out, unless you’re being cyberstalked. Laws are catching up with cyberstalking, but as I mentioned above, limit the ammunition. Pics of you at 19 doing body shots in a bar = ammunition. Pics of you at 19 out to dinner with friends = not ammunition.