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Google Glass and Surveillance Culture 318

Posted by timothy
from the looking-sharp dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "Tech journalist Milo Yiannopoulos asks the question lurking in everyone's mind about Google Glass. 'It's an audacious product for a company no one trusts to behave responsibly with our data: a pair of glasses that can monitor and record the world around you,' he writes. 'But if Glass becomes as ubiquitous as the iPhone, are we truly to believe that Google will not attempt to abuse that remarkable power?' With each new eyebrow-raising court judgment and federal fine levied against Google, he adds, 'it becomes ever more clear that this is a company hell-bent on innovating first and asking questions later, if ever. And its vision, shared with other California technology companies, is of corporate America redefining societal privacy norms in the service of advertising companies and their clients.' He feels that Google will eventually end up in some sort of court battle over Google Glass and privacy. Do you agree? Does Google Glass deserve extra scrutiny before it hits the market?"
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Google Glass and Surveillance Culture

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  • by Hunter Shoptaw (2655515) on Tuesday April 02, 2013 @12:49PM (#43338839)
    Hmm, his own bio on his page says "Stephen Fry once referred to him as a "cynical, ignorant [expletive]." Also from his Twitter feed, " /. is paying me and The Kernel is no longer trading." when asked if he should be publishing his articles on The Kernel. BTW, The Kernel is no longer trading because it's no longer a company. So in area of character, I'd say this one is definitely not neutral or unbiased.

    As to his article, I can see why other publications like The Guardian considered The Kernel a gossip mag. There is not evidence or foundation in Milo's article. Only the ravings of a man who has shown himself to be firmly against all things big tech. I wouldn't do so far as to affiliate him with MS, I'm sure he hates them too. I will say that, while many people, readers and critics, have spoken of his aptitude with the english language, I found his article to be riddled with hyperbole ("company no one trusts" some of us have no quarrel with Google) and out-right ignorance (Glass is unofficially called Goggles? No.)

    As his article appears to have been built to stimulate heated arguments with no enlightenment to be found in it's many words, I will say that he has at least succeeded in this, as I can not find anything else this article succeeds at or any other reason for it's existence. Also, I wouldn't call Milo a "tech journalist" anymore than I'd call a /. commenter a writer.
  • by Psyborgue (699890) on Tuesday April 02, 2013 @12:57PM (#43338975) Homepage Journal
    It's sensationalist to think Glass records and streams everything you see to Google. The way I understand it, it only records or takes a photo when you tell it to, and you can be a lot more discrete with a mobile phone camera (pretending to text) if you really want to record people without their permission. With glass you have to announce, out-loud, that you are recording. Labeling it "surveilance" is simply FUD. The device doesn't even have it's own dedicated internet connection. If the government/whoever wants to track you, there are any number of ways without glass, simplest being your phone or credit cards.
  • by Comrade Ogilvy (1719488) on Tuesday April 02, 2013 @01:10PM (#43339193)

    I can promise you exactly that will happen, regardless what Google does or does not do. It may take ten years. It may take twenty. It will come.

    On the plus side, it will be a powerful means of curbing police abuse, because under the bright lights of a courtroom turning off those cameras will seem suspicious to every jury. Furthermore the police will need to be trained how to handle false-positives in a professional manner, because the magic software will be constantly showing false positives.

    On the down side, there are ways to abuse this information. Now is the time to think calmly about safeguards.

  • by GodInHell (258915) on Tuesday April 02, 2013 @01:16PM (#43339263) Homepage
    and to be fair, the streetview data thing was a bunch of useless snippets of data -- no one has accused google of sitting around reading people's e-mails through their streetview cars.
  • by Lithdren (605362) on Tuesday April 02, 2013 @01:56PM (#43339741)

    This is already possible, Google Glass or no.

    Hyperbole? Yes. It's also idiotic. "Unwritten rule" really? They make cameras now that are so small they can be woven into a coat and you'd never know it's there. You should be acting as if you're on camera anywhere you go already, since its rather likely you are, even if you dont already know it. Calling out Google Glass on the possiblity only shows you're inability to see through your own idiocy.

    If you have a problem with this, you have a problem with Technology as a whole. Go live in a cave if it makes you feel safe, the rest of us will happily move on without you. I dont even have interest in Google Glass (honestly I dont see the point) but that doesn't mean I fear it like a beaten dog fears its abusive master. The heck is wrong with you people?

  • by six025 (714064) on Tuesday April 02, 2013 @02:00PM (#43339799)

    ...or one person pretending to text on their phone and taking a picture. The scenario you describe is a people problem, not a technology problem.

    This scenario would require targeted, convert behaviour which is always going to be possible.

    With Google Glass the problem is more sinister because the glasses are always on and point in whatever random direction the wearer happens to point. Further, the data will most likely be logged with Google which may mean it can be searched by law enforcement agents (now or sometime in the future).

    A random person using a video camera is much less likely to upload the data to a central "all seeing" company like Google.

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