Is our privacy at risk !!!
Google, a company that is renowned for its top of the line high-tech gadgets is said to release its highly anticipated Google Glass in the near future. Google Glass is a new generation of wearable computing , which giving the user the ability to use apps and record video footage while on the go. With this new revelation of wearable computers the question of privacy has been raised. With this technology everyone could potential be under constant surveillance without even knowing.
A revolutionary set of digital glasses with a built in microcomputer. They feature a small 640 x360 display in the right eye that mimics a 25” screen. Additionally it has a built in 5MP (720p video) camera with audio capturing capability. The device is mainly voice activated, however also features a small touch control on the right side.
Do we really loose privacy?
Privacy is something that all of us have a right to. However with technology growing and changing on a daily basis the laws on privacy start to become blurred, in the sense that it is hard to distinguish if a certain technology could be considered as a privacy infringement or not. “There is a widely understood sense that we live in an age in which an individual’s privacy has become a commodity” (Kieran 119) we no longer have the same privacy that we had 20 years ago. Google Glass is just another example of a technology that is pushing the boundary of what is expectable. Google argues that a smart phone has the same capability to infringe people’s privacy as do Google Glass. Google take a legal stand point and admits that it is Illegal to “photograph or film a person against his will when he is on a premise not accessible to the public” (Robertson 54) however in a public space it is not an infringement if you involuntarily capture someone on camera. The problem with this is that Google has developed an app that can conduct facial recognition through the small camera, with additional software that would allow users to recognize celebrities. This would then clearly be considered a breach of privacy.
News Report on the subject matter of privacy and Google Glass
The Good side
Google argues that this facial recognition software also has its positive advantages on society. Working together with the company FacialNetwork, they have developed an app that lets the users scan people’s faces again the National Sex Offender Registry which has more than 450,000 entries. This intern would make the online dating and offline social interaction much safer and give people a better understand of who is actually around them.
With the UK release date approaching citizens in the UK are having mixed feelings about the product. Since the current privacy laws have not been adjusted to facilitate a product of this sort, several places have taken matters into their own hands and imposed banns on Google Glasses in their establishments. These banns have been imposed in establishments in which people could be found in compromising situations. For example most of Las Vegas Gentlemen’s Clubs have a complete bann on the use of Google Glass in the premises, to prevent exposer of the identity of their customers.
Where do we stand?
As with most newly introduced technologies there is always this uncertainty about what it will be used for. It is clear that Google Glass lies in a disputed grey area of privacy laws and could result in a complete loss in privacy. With this being said it is not right to blame the technology, it depends on the user. If he or she chooses to use it ethically and not infringe the privacy of other people then this new gadget has the potential to become an incredibly useful and powerful tool in our everyday lives.
– Robertson, A. H. Privacy And Human Rights. 1st ed. Manchester: University Press, 1973. Print.
– Kieran, Matthew. Media Ethics. 1st ed. London: Routledge, 1998. Print.
– Arthur, Charles. ‘Google Glass: Is It A Threat To Our Privacy?’. the Guardian. N.p., 2013. Web. 10 Sept. 2014. http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2013/mar/06/google-glass-threat-to-our-privacy
– Guardian Liberty Voice,. ‘Google Glass: In Your Face Privacy Violations’. N.p., 2014. Web. 14 Sept. 2014.
– Metro.co.uk, Mary, and Mary Metro.co.uk. ‘Does Google Glass Spell The End Of Privacy?’. Metro. N.p., 2014. Web. 14 Sept. 2014.
– Gray, Richard. ‘The Places Where Google Glass Is Banned – Telegraph’. Telegraph.co.uk. N.p., 2013. Web. 14 Sept. 2014.