Congress worries about Google Glass and privacy rights

Congress worries about Google Glass and privacy rights
Worries about Google Glass infringing on U.S. citizen's privacy rights was the subject of a meeting Thursday in Washington D.C. between eight members of Congress and Google CEO Larry Page. A letter, signed by members of the congressional bipartisan 'privacy caucus, asked what safeguards Google built into the specs to "prevent Google Glass from unintentionally collecting data about the user/non-user without consent." Not yet available to the general public, Google sold a number of the devices to developers at last year's Google I/O developer conference at $1500 a pop. 8000 winners of the #IfIHadGlass" contest also received the specs, which can take photographs and videos of people around the Glass wearer.

Congress is worried about Google Glass infringing on privacy rights

Congress is worried about Google Glass infringing on privacy rights

According to the lead project manager of Google Glass, Steve Lee, Google will not allow applications to be offered for the device if they allow Glass to record information without lighting up its small screen. "Privacy was top of mind as we designed the product," Lee said. The executive added that "From the beginning we’ve been thinking about the social implications…not only for people wearing Glass but for people who aren’t." Earlier this year, a Seattle bar called The 5 Point Cafe banned Google Glass from the establishment. Owner Dave Meinert said that no patron of the place would want his picture taken at the "seedy bar" and posted online. But considering that Google has arranged for the display to light up when Google Glass is active, subjects of photographs and videos should be able to determine if they are "in the picture".

The letter from Congress asks for a response from Google by June 14th and also asks the company if it is building any safeguards so that information stored on the device cannot be accessed by others. While the Explorer edition of Google Glass, which is the model that the developers have been using, is easily hackable by design, Googler Lee says that the device will not be an easy mark for hackers.

source: WSJ via TheVerge

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23 Comments

1. pongkie

Posts: 663; Member since: Aug 20, 2011

actually I would love to have Google glass to use it against dirty politicians and other corrupt government officials.

4. grahaman27

Posts: 364; Member since: Apr 05, 2013

thats exactly what they are thinking when they say "privacy"

7. Pings

Posts: 304; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

Congress worries about privacy!!!??? How about they give us our privacy back before worrying Google Glasses. End the parrot act! "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." - Benjamin Franklin

14. JunkCreek

Posts: 407; Member since: Jul 13, 2012

Very great device for Indonesian piliticians MUST EQUIPED dan RECORDED device when they're on meeting

15. Nikolas.Oliver

Posts: 1574; Member since: Jul 01, 2012

Good one lol hahaha, especially for the police

22. JunkCreek

Posts: 407; Member since: Jul 13, 2012

must have for bikers and drivers, especially truck drivers and public transportation drivers, A MUST ON AND RECORD DEVICE. so officer can now easily to judge which person do wrong and also Trans Jakarta can now uploading to You Tube that IT IS bikers and walkers who always "blocking and crossing" busway.

23. Nikolas.Oliver

Posts: 1574; Member since: Jul 01, 2012

hahaha i'd wager the house of representive is gonna buy tons of glasses to watch porn LMFAO

17. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2297; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

They would much rather you believe that Google Glass is a bigger invasion of privacy versus those spy drones that now have the authority to spy on American citizens from 20,000 feet in the air.

20. anywherehome

Posts: 971; Member since: Dec 13, 2011

Now corrupted by Microsoft and Apple: they are furious because all the real innovations come from Google and the only defence they are capable of are litigations and FUD

2. vandroid

Posts: 405; Member since: Sep 04, 2012

REALLY??????????? Congress is worried about privacy??

3. HDShatter

Posts: 1021; Member since: Jan 17, 2013

The difference between this and having my phone out recording you?

6. Hemlocke unregistered

A lot, actually. Conspicuous move versus a nearly unseen gesture.

9. HDShatter

Posts: 1021; Member since: Jan 17, 2013

what if I have an app that hides the fact im using the camera?

12. GhostBear

Posts: 25; Member since: Feb 01, 2013

There are already privacy laws on the books that adequately cover glass. We don't need to waste time and money on superfluous laws. Besides, the Supreme Court has already ruled time and again: There is no expectation of privacy in a public setting.

5. Mark.J.Linskiy unregistered

"Worried" about the Google Glass privacy "issue" because it doesn't benefit them or allow them to do it to us without consent..

8. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Yeah, okay, Congress. In the meantime, the AP wonders about its privacy... I've said it before and I'll say it again: if this were an Apple product, no one would give a s**t.

11. GhostBear

Posts: 25; Member since: Feb 01, 2013

Actually AP scandal was the Executive Branch, not the Legislative. Coincidence that Tim Cook was Michelle Obama's guest of honor at the Presidential Inauguration? Then a Michelle Obama Fashion App appears for iOS.

13. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

The government was still involved, and so far I don't think Congress has had much to say on the AP scandal.

10. MorePhonesThanNeeded

Posts: 645; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

Politicians trying to protect their dirty deeds, also anyone else remember the complaints from law enforcement about cell phones with cameras hindering officers from doing their jobs? Those in authority are incredible when it comes to protecting themselves but the public must remain vulnerable to anything they dish out.

16. Sharky

Posts: 259; Member since: Jun 24, 2008

This is laughable... like IDK. Extremely laughable. Hey Congress why don't you stop trying to pass laws to invade our online privacy like SOPA and CISPA. Then you can talk about Google Glass having a privacy problem.

18. boosook

Posts: 1442; Member since: Nov 19, 2012

apple and microsoft are lobbying…

19. gmracer1

Posts: 646; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

Since when the hell is Congress worried about American rights?!?

21. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

Congress are a bunch of greedy fools. I would love to have. GOOGLE GLASS. I'll use them too expose their secrets

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