April 1, 2013

Google Glass opens up new debate on privacy in public

Posted by: in North America

 

Get ready for the ever-shifting line between public and private to move again. The expansion of Google Glass—the Internet-connected, video-capable glasses—into a public trial has re-inflamed a debate about privacy in public. With the possibility of millions of people wearing a device that can record with a simple command, privacy advocates, government officials, academics and even some business owners are sounding alarms.

“Google Glass is possibly the most significant technological threat to ‘privacy in public’ I’ve seen,” Woodrow Hartzog, an affiliate scholar at Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society, told Ars Technica. The 5 Point bar in Seattle recently declared a ban on Google Glass (“and ass kickings will be encouraged for violators”)—a joke/PR stunt for the most part, but it’s plausible that serious bans will become commonplace. Meanwhile, an anti-Google Glass group calling itself Stop the Cyborgs has sprung up in London, and in Australia, Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi has said the technology “could mean the end of privacy as we know it.” Bernardi posits a scenario where a quiet conversation is surreptitiously recorded and converted into text and the person’s face matched to his Google profile, then the exchange posted on social media. (Bernardi’s arguments might be stronger if he hadn’t taken extreme views on other issues.)

On the other side, many argue we’re already under heavy public surveillance (even 5 Point uses security cameras) and give up our privacy rights regularly through various social outlets. Yet, “there’s something about being caught on video, not by some impersonal machine but by another human being, that sticks in people’s craws and makes them go irrationally berserk,” writes Jon Evans at TechCrunch—before noting (rationally) that Google Glass’ presence could reduce crime and abuse of power by government authorities. Meanwhile, other life-logging technologies such as Memoto, a wearable, always-on video camera, are coming on the market as well. Watch for the debate to get much louder before society hashes out how to accommodate these devices.

Image credit: Google

3 Responses to "Google Glass opens up new debate on privacy in public"

1 | Natalie F.

April 8th, 2013 at 1:22 am

Avatar

The only thing we can do is protest and find literal means of public privacy..
My advice:
Put something over the camera thing and wear shades to go incognito from complete Google face-data recognition!!!

2 | Will Palley

April 8th, 2013 at 3:12 pm

Avatar

More institutions (from strip clubs to theaters) are banning Google Glass. http://nbcnews.to/XzB1W8

3 | Steve Maitland

April 30th, 2013 at 3:30 pm

Avatar

I agree with your comments, here in the uk everything is now controlled by the data protection dept,
all cameras have to have privacy masking installed with the software.
it can not solve the problem but it can help

Comment Form

SIGN UP FOR OUR WEEKLY EMAIL NEWSLETTER:

New: 10 Years of 10 Trends

The Future 100

JWT AnxietyIndex

Things to Watch

  • Tindergram
    April 17, 2015 | 11:03 am

    Tinder Instagram

    Swiping just got more interesting—with its latest update, Tinder lets users browse the Instagram feeds of their potential matches. The pairing (which, Adweek notes, seemed inevitable) offers “a sort of social diary, co-written by your friends and family” to help people better stalk their dates.

    Continue reading “Tindergram” »

  • Everlane’s Transparent City series
    April 8, 2015 | 2:33 pm

    Everlane LA

    “We call it Radical Transparency,” says e-tail startup Everlane. The company, known for its luxe basics, was built on the principle of disclosing production costs and keeping markups as low as possible. Now, Everlane has launched the Transparent City tour, a first-of-its-kind look at the inner workings of like-minded local companies. The kickoff event in LA brought guests behind the scenes with local bloggers, designers and chefs to learn about their creative inspiration. And, perhaps the culmination of the week — Everlane invited a select few on a tour of their factory, sharing the garment construction process from start to finish. The tour had a 300-person waitlist.

    Continue reading “Everlane’s Transparent City series” »

  • Crossing ‘the digital divide’
    March 19, 2015 | 4:24 pm

    ggw_16-9

    In a piece on an 82-year-old going online for the first time, The Washington Post called attention to a rising issue—the divide between those who use the Internet and those who don’t (13% in the U.S., and 41% among senior citizens).

    Continue reading “Crossing ‘the digital divide’” »

  • Incremental saving and giving
    March 11, 2015 | 1:51 pm

    Call it progress or just laziness—apps are popping up that harness our small change and put it to better use. Acorns, dubbed “the Tinder of investing,” links to a user’s debit or credit card and rounds up to the nearest dollar on every purchase. The app then takes that spare change and invests it in a portfolio of the user’s choice—portfolios range from low to high risk (and reward). Or users can opt to let Acorns choose for them based on their age, goals, income and other factors. Meanwhile, apps like Qapital and Digit facilitate regular small transfers from checking to savings, and banks themselves are getting on the incremental savings bandwagon. (See: Bank of America’s Keep the Change and Wells Fargo’s Way2Save.)

    Continue reading “Incremental saving and giving” »

  • Augmenting sleep
    March 9, 2015 | 12:02 pm

    Sense orb

    Digital platforms are already integrated into our every waking minute—now they’re moving into our sleep. A spate of apps and devices aim to aid and facilitate better sleep, from ambient lamps to a lucid dreaming sleep mask to an app that wakes you up with a phone call from a stranger.

    Continue reading “Augmenting sleep” »

  • The sharing economy grows up
    March 3, 2015 | 3:30 pm

    Screen Shot 2015-03-03 at 2.28.41 PM

    Hotel giant Starwood has bought in to the sharing economy. The group, which owns W Hotels, St. Regis and Sheraton, has announced a partnership with car service Uber in which every dollar spent by a guest on an Uber car earns points toward free rooms and other perks.

    Continue reading “The sharing economy grows up” »

  • Digital immersive exercise
    February 25, 2015 | 4:04 pm

    immersive-fitness-the-trip

    Equinox’s new revved-up cycle class speaks to a growing exercise trend—digital immersion. This month the gym brand unveiled Pursuit, an immersive cycling concept, to limited U.S. gyms. Equinox describes the program as “an immersive studio cycling experience that uses groundbreaking gaming and data visualization to drive competition and inspire peak performance.”

    Continue reading “Digital immersive exercise” »

  • Science fare
    February 20, 2015 | 2:07 pm

    Screen Shot 2015-02-20 at 12.59.22 PM

    The worlds of science, gastronomy and art are continuing to cross-pollinate—from edible conceptual art to molecular gastronomy “lab cafés” to synesthetic dining events. Café ArtScience in Cambridge, Mass., is a recent example. Opened late last year by David Edwards, a Harvard engineering professor, the café serves whiskey “fogs” through a special carafe that turns the liquor into vapor (which means consumers don’t take in any of the calories and feel none of the intoxicating effects).

    Continue reading “Science fare” »

  • Aman’s authentic-luxe travel
    February 11, 2015 | 1:06 pm

    Amandira1_509

    As travelers continue to seek out authentic and unique experiences, hospitality brands keep raising the bar on hyper-localized offerings and exceptional access. Aman, for instance, is introducing a phinisi-style sailing ship in Indonesia, marrying the brand’s ultra-luxe sensibility with regional tradition. With an outdoor lounge and bar, the option to travel by motor, and air-conditioned cabins, the ship brings every modern comfort to an age-old means of navigating the Indonesian archipelago. Another Aman property, meanwhile, offers a dip into paleontology: Guests at Amangiri in southern Utah can join an official dig at the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, working alongside fossil experts for a half-day. The cost of getting one’s hands dirty starts at $600. (Resulting Instagram images: priceless.) —Marian Berelowitz

    Image credit: Aman

  • Adidas’ ‘virtual line’
    February 5, 2015 | 6:55 pm

    Adidas

    Adidas’ new Confirmed app cleverly harnesses the fervor of collectors who normally line up for limited-edition shoes, moving fans onto a mobile platform. App users create an account, then get push notifications when hot new releases are on the way. Interested buyers in a given metro area—only New York City at launch—indicate their size and, if approved, receive details on where and when to pick up the shoes. An Adidas exec calls it a “virtual line.” In addition to collecting data on these super-fans, the app lets Adidas control which influencers get various styles, drives traffic to selected stores, builds additional buzz and cuts out secondary-market sellers armed with bots that secure advance orders. —Marian Berelowitz

    Image credit: Bloomberg

  • RSSArchive for Things to Watch »