Feminism: Mark Hurst on Google Glass

[Content Note: Invasion of Privacy, Stalking]
[Repost Note: This is a repost of an article that previously appeared on Shakesville.]

Creative Good—The Google Glass feature no one is talking about:
Now pretend you don’t know a single person who wears Google Glass… and take a walk outside. Anywhere you go in public – any store, any sidewalk, any bus or subway – you’re liable to be recorded: audio and video. Fifty people on the bus might be Glassless, but if a single person wearing Glass gets on, you – and all 49 other passengers – could be recorded. Not just for a temporary throwaway video buffer, like a security camera, but recorded, stored permanently, and shared to the world.

Now, I know the response: “I’m recorded by security cameras all day, it doesn’t bother me, what’s the difference?” Hear me out – I’m not done. What makes Glass so unique is that it’s a Google project. And Google has the capacity to combine Glass with other technologies it owns.

...Ten years from now, someone, some company, or some organization, takes an interest in you, wants to know if you’ve ever said anything they consider offensive, or threatening, or just includes a mention of a certain word or phrase they find interesting. A single search query within Google’s cloud – whether initiated by a publicly available search, or a federal subpoena, or anything in between – will instantly bring up documentation of every word you’ve ever spoken within earshot of a Google Glass device.

This is the discussion we should have about Google Glass. The tech community, by all rights, should be leading this discussion. Yet most techies today are still chattering about whether they’ll look cool wearing the device.

Neat! I'm sure that this feature won't adversely affect people's privacy, and I'm confident that any information collected through these features will never be misused by the federal government, large corporations, or internet hackers. I'm sure any fears to the contrary are completely overblown. 

And here is the thing: I wasn't really following the Google Glass development, given that I have no intention jumping on another Google product after having been burned by Blogger accessibility issues and Reader being closed down this summer. But Mark Hurst's post at Creative Good has pretty aptly demonstrated that even if I never use Google Glass, that doesn't mean I won't be affected by it.


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