Google Glass

Concerns of user privacy and Google Glass seem to go hand in hand and the time for debate is now

Google has responded to Congressman Joe Barton (R-Texas), co-chair of the bipartisan Congressional Privacy Caucus with a letter focusing on new privacy concerns that surround the wearable device. Of particular interest is Google's clear, yet controversial, privacy policy and if it would be amended or changed to deal with Google Glass

According to Google VP of public policy and government relations Susan Molinari, they have no plans to change anything and the existing privacy policy will remain in effect.

Use of Google Glass will be governed by the terms of the Google Privacy Policy and no changes to the Google Privacy Policy are planned for Glass.

Congressman Barton is disappointed, as he feels this doesn't address the way the new technology can affect the "social norms" as it changes the ways users interact with the public. 

We like to think that anyone buying into the wearable computing market would take a few moments and understand how their data is being used, plenty of people simply won't do so. Google has clarified their data privacy policy in the past, and the concise, simple language spells out what they can and will do with the information they collect from you.

We're not sure how things need to change to protect users of Google Glass, but we do know that now is the time to hash it all out. With wearable computing becoming a reality in the very near future, these concerns and others will need to be addressed by the people on both sides of the issue. 

Follow the source link for a PDF download of Google's four page letter to congress, and click here to read their existing privacy policies.

Source: Marketing Land


Reader comments

Google not changing privacy policy for Google Glass


Maybe I'm just running a bit slow today... but I really don't see any real reason why Glass would require anything different in the privacy policy.

It's not like the device adds any new elements of privacy concerns. The services offered are the same as any other mobile device. I fail to recognize what (if anything) changes when moving the device from your hand/pocket to your head.

My only real concern with Glass, is how it will affect those who plan to drive while wearing them.

I own Glass and people have expressed concern about people with Glass snapping pictures of them etc... One classmate was telling me about her concerns and this is how I put it. "I'm talking to you, you see I'm wearing glass and you then know I can possibly be taking pictures of you, but you are aware of the possibility" As I was talking to her I looked like I was playing on my phone but I was snapping pictures of her left and right. After I told her what I said above I told her "Well with a phone you are unaware that I possibly could be taking pictures of you" Then showed her all the pictures I took of her without her knowledge as we were standing there. So I said "So what's more of a privacy concern? Me wearing Glass and you being aware I might be snapping pictures or me doing it on the down low with my phone where you had no idea?"
needless to say, it shut her up pretty quickly :)

It is not against the law to take people's pictures out in public and in public settings no matter who they are. Most state's like missouri had laws about putting tvs in front of a car or mounted on the dash and made it illegal in the 80's as well as wearing Head phones while driving is illegal as well, I'd assume it falls under those categories. Plus most Android phones can be voice activated and work with cars bluetooth systems so you don't really need Glass to drive. But would be great for the Google Maps because you can't look at maps while driving and have to listen to all the directions. That's what I'd like to visually see where G Maps is taking me instead of missing a turn

If anyone should be concerned about privacy, people should read FaceBook's privacy note. Anything you post on FaceBook becomes the intellectual property of Facebook, pics, vids, or any ideas or thoughts you post. FaceBook keeps copy's of everything you post even if you delete stuff or your entire account. Not to mention FB puts hidden cookies on your devices that track every website you go to unless you delete all cookies.

The NSA is drooling over this new technology.

Glass doesn't really bother me much. If I saw someone in the gym locker room wearing them I might take issue with it but other than that I can't imagine anyone would want to take my picture in public. If I did see someone looking in my direction with them I would simply take my phone out and start filming them. I would not hesitate at all filming or snapping photos of people wearing these. I will do it all the time. They should expect it.

I forget who said it, but I once read a quote from someone that Glass is actually a horrible spying method. It's pretty obvious that you're wearing it, so there's really nothing covert about it.

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What does a privacy policy even mean anymore? Seeing how we recently found out that these companies are just giving it up anyway.

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Google should have let apple make glasses first so everyone would love it and allow it to be used everywhere.

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Apple would call them iGlass (or iGlasses) then sue the entire prescription glasses and sunglasses industry every time a commercial says the words "eye glasses" because that sounds too close to iGlass/iGlasses.

Honestly, I'm glad Google is sticking to their guns about this. Sure, Google Glass in private areas, like a gym locker room, is not a good place for them to be worn into but it would be BLATANTLY obvious if someone does wear them into those places. I'd be more worried about the cell phone cameras or other small cameras that isn't placed on someone's face.

You didn't know that Apple created them first, then allowed Goggle to mass produce them. So they can sue Google for a "Billion Dollars"

Basically, if you're around someone wearing Glass, you are responsible for your own privacy, not them. Not much different than being around someone with a phone, just more obvious.

Just throwing some ideas out there.... I am sure there will start to be signs posted in more private businesses and some government offices banning the use of them if they feel that there could be sensitive data on display. I wonder if certain museums would also ban them? I might question people in some public places like pools and beaches. Overall it will raise question as to when it's appropriate.

The privacy issue w/Glass is not what its wearer collects, but what Google is collecting for its own purposes. {Jonathan}

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You can buy glasses right now that look like sun glasses with a tiny micro camera in it and all you see is a pin hole on the side. You have to be looking for it to notice. The snap pictures and record video. I would worry about those or pocket pen cameras before something obvious like this. This politician is just showing how much of an idiot and uninformed he is by just taking notice of glass and not these other products.

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Did you look into him and the committee that he represents to see what issues they are taking up? Or did you just post without any actual fact or record?

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The privacy issues with Glass are more serious for the victims of the people NOT using Glass- the people being filmed/photos/recorded. And that is being skirted very well by Google.

Being a Glass Explorer I have yet to have anyone voice their concern about being "invaded" with my technology. As many have said, it's the same technology as available on cell phones (video / picture), but instead of being able to hide my intentions, I have to:

1) Turn glass on as it auto shuts off in like 2 seconds due to battery life
2) Say, "OK glass, take a picture"


2) Tap the touchpad, scroll, select, take a picture


2) Reach up to the button on top and touch it

So... you will either see or hear someone taking action, interacting with Glass to take a picture / start a video. Now.. I could be rolling video walking up to you, but if you are anywhere close, you can see the backside of the display and clearly see it's filming (it's like looking into a mirror).

Much eaiser to walk around with my phone in my hand as if I'm reading e-mails or texting and take picture / video with my cell and nobody cares / notices. People are just scared because they "think" Glass does something, but do not know "what Glass does".