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Google faces privacy criticisms over Google Glass

Some feel the new technology represents a loss of personal control

Google Glass photo via Wikipedia

When most people think of “Google” and “security,” the initial thought has to do with the U.S. government's surveillance tactics using Google and other technology company. Most of the time, it seems to be the NSA taking the heat for invading privacy, not Google or the other companies themselves.

However, that’s not to say that Google is entirely immune from feeling the privacy pressure. For example, take Google’s latest innovation: Google Glass. While many are excited for the new technology, others are worried that the new device will allow the technology companies a new avenue to collect data on users.

CNN has investigated multiple dissenters to the new technology, and they found that many who are anti-Google Glass are actually technologically-savvy. Seattle entrepreneur Dave Meinert has banned Google Glass wearers from one of his cafes, and one of his managers ejected a Google Glass-wearing customer from another. A group called Stop the Cyborgs has campaigned through its website, offering anti-Glass art to businesses who want to ban the technology. And some early adopters said they have been accosted for wearing the technology.

Psychologist Larry Rosen told CNN that many people feel a loss of control when others are using Google Glass. “People make a personal decision to check their smartphone or log in and check their social media accounts, but Google Glass is out of their control,” Rosen said. “They are not able to make a decision as to whether they want to be 'on' or 'connected' through someone else's process, and they are concerned and unhappy that they do not have a say in the matter.”

Congress is aware of the new technology’s burgeoning reputation — back in May, eight members of Congress asked Google to issue privacy assurances related to the device. But as of now, there are no governmental regulations specifically related to the new technology.

Are those concerned about privacy worried for no reason? On one hand, Google has been outspoken against the government’s surveillance tactics, as Chief Legal Officer David Drummond said, “We are outraged at the lengths to which the government seems to have gone to intercept data from our private fiber networks, and it underscores the need for urgent reform.” But Google has also faced privacy concerns of its own in the past, through its Google Street View application and the company’s targeted advertising.


Google’s been all over the legal news world recently, and InsideCounsel has it covered:

Global patent filings experience fastest growth in almost two decades

Supreme Court to rule on software patent protection

Tech giants make appeal to reform government surveillance tactics

Oracle and Google headed for IP showdown with major implications

Assistant Editor

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Zach Warren

Zach Warren is Assistant Editor of InsideCounsel magazine, where he oversees online content submissions and administers InsideCounsel's enewsletters. Zach specializes in new media and multimedia...

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