News / Science & Technology

Privacy Concerns Raised About Google Glass

Privacy Concerns Raised About Google Glassi
X
July 25, 2013 5:16 PM
Google has been selling its newest high-tech device, Google Glass, to a select group to test the technology so it can be improved for the mass market. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles that the biggest criticism has been about privacy.
Elizabeth Lee
Google has been selling its newest high-tech device, Google Glass, to a select group to test the technology so it can be improved for the mass market. The biggest criticism has been about privacy.

When Professor Marcia Dawkins first heard about Google Glass, she had only one thought.

“I thought this is something I definitely need for my classroom and hopefully for my personal life too,” she said.

Dawkin's Google Glass looks like a pair of bright orange glasses, without lenses. But there's a tiny rectangular glass at the top right-hand corner of her orange frame. Through that glass, Dawkins has been recording video while biking.  

She's also been able to talk to her sister in Thailand with Google Glass. She's planning to use the device in her classroom to teach a public speaking class in the coming year. Dawkins also wants to record her lectures with Google Glass to allow her students to see what she sees.

“I often tell them at the beginning of the term, if you can see me I can see you, but they never believe me. They think they are invisible when they are behind the laptops,” said Dawkins.

Spying potential

Not everyone, however, embraces this new technology.

“It is essentially going to allow people to come in and spy on you and record that, without you knowing what is going on,” said John Simpson, director of the privacy project with the public interest group, Consumer Watchdog.

But Google’s Chris Dale says the device is designed to address that concern.

“In order to activate the camera or to record the video, you have to take an explicit gesture or say something out loud. So I tap, I activate the device, and say 'Okay, glass, take a picture.' Similarly, I have a little button on the top here that I can push that will again show an explicit gesture to everybody around me that a picture is being taken and a video is being recorded,” he said.

Filmmaker Chris Barrett showed just how easy it is, though, to record people without them knowing. His glass captured a man getting arrested after a fight at a fireworks show. He posted the video to YouTube.

Mike DiGiovanni created a way to take pictures with just a wink.

Hackers have been able to get facial recognition technology to run on Glass. The technology can scan a face, identify the person and provide information about that person. Google says it will not approve face recognition applications.

Consumer Watchdog’s Simpson says it may be up to Congress, however, to protect people’s privacy.

“I think it is going to require some serious legislation. We are going to have to pass some laws,” he said.

Dawkins says privacy concerns will be a part of her classroom discussion, as she uses Google Glass to enhance her students’ learning experience.

You May Like

Beloved Lion Killing Sparks Virtual, Real Life Outrage

Twitter, as usual, was epicenter for anger directed at Palmer, with some questioning his manhood, calling for him to be released into the wild More

Video Booming London Property Market a Haven for Dirty Money

Billions of dollars from proceeds of crime, especially from Russia, being laundered through London property market, according to anti-corruption activists More

Video Scouts' Decision on Gays Meets Acceptance in Founder's Hometown

One former Scout leader thinks organization will move past political, social debate, get back to its primary focus of turning boys into good citizens More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: HappyGuy from: Jackistan
August 15, 2013 2:24 PM
I see someone recording me or my family with those glasses on I am going to knock their f... head in.

by: Blankie
July 28, 2013 10:06 PM
"Google says it will not approve face recognition applications."

Oh, well that's a relief. Privacy concerns addressed.

by: Kitagawa Keikoh from: Daikanyama, JPN
July 26, 2013 7:54 PM
I agree with Blue Wolf.
It's very easy to get more sophisticated devices to record someone without notice.
Just google "spy camera" !

by: Blue Wolf from: Australia
July 26, 2013 4:18 AM
it hardly matters. google is not the ground breaker here. If I want to record someone without their knowledge, there are a million ways to do it without them noticing.

this new tech changes nothing.

by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
July 26, 2013 2:26 AM
Today's Japanese news on TV told Google has been slowing down its sales recently, yet it has announced new devices to project videos got by smartphone onto TV screen. This Google glass also may be one of main resouces they expect to help Google's sales increase. Apple has revived. I hope Google will thrive more and more even after its founder was expired.

by: Carlos from: Texas
July 25, 2013 5:04 PM
It may be up to congress to protect privacy? HA! How can we expect our own government to protect our privacy when they're the once that are stealing that very liberty from us...I wouldn't be surprised if they were Google's #1 buyer.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’i
X
July 29, 2015 9:34 PM
Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Scouts' Decision on Gays Meets Acceptance in Founder's Hometown

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs