Google Glass: Orwellian surveillance with fluffier branding?

“Recently a Seattle bar has pre-emptively banned Google Glass from its premises, generating mixed reactions online, but also raising questions about whether they will present a privacy concern when used in public spaces,” Jack Purcher reports for Patently Apple.

“The 5 Point Café made its intentions clear with a post on its Facebook page that stated: ‘For the record, The 5 Point is the first Seattle business to ban in advance Google Glasses. And ass kickings will be encouraged for violators,’ it said alongside a graphic of an eye adorned with the glasses, and a red cross struck through,” Purcher reports. “Once the dialog gets going, we begin to see that Google Glass may not be that cool in many circles in the future. Couriers, visitors, janitors all of a sudden become a threat to businesses as these people get into various offices, have access to files late at night and Google Glasses can go live to whoever is wanting information on their competitors.”

Purcher writes, “Another point in the noted article above stated that we shouldn’t ‘be surprised when those on the sexual offenders’ list in most states are banned from owning/wearing Google Glasses as part of their punishment.’ Some have questioned if Google Glass could be banned in Casinos. And the more the wheels begin to turn you know that the list of those who won’t want Google Glass around them or their offices is going to grow exponentially.”

Much more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Brawndo Drinker” for the heads up.]

33 Comments

  1. Without all the politico and media hype, I can put this whole issue to rest one and for all. Anyone wearing Gaagle Glasses looks like an idiot. In Sergeys case he looks like a tool. DOA.

      1. Yeah, agreed. I like to photograph, all over the place. But I have no delusion that people like, or should like, or should allow, a camera in their face. Taking a picture of a scenario that has many people in it is the grey area. It’s tough. Usually no one minds, but there is always a chance that it catches someone the wrong way. And really that is my fault. It’s a social thing. A consideration.
        These obnoxious glasses could push it over the edge.

  2. So, if Google hadn’t developed this product, nobody else would have come up with the same idea? Such a panopticon system has been described clearly in Neil Stephenson’s book Snow Crash, and once an idea is out there, it can’t be put back in the bottle. Glasses with video cameras already exist, the only significant difference is the direct connection to the Internet, but as anyone with a cellphone already knows, a continuous data connection is not possible, and certainly not at the data speeds necessary for uploading a video stream.
    Dammit, I can struggle to upload a single photo to Facebook, Instagram or Flickr, even when my connection looks solid.
    And that’s in a city, or large town; get into a rural situation, and I can see many people being very disappointed when they try to film something, or see a map, and there’s no connection.
    A case in point; 15 miles from where I live is a major tourist attraction, and World Heritage site, the 5500 year old stone circle of Avebury. I know of only one of the UK’s phone networks that gets a signal there, mine, O2, certainly doesn’t.
    Thus rendering Google Glass utterly useless in a place where many would want to use it.

      1. …anyway, she also went to Avebury, and later tried to convince me that Earth energy in the form of ley lines (geomagnetic, I ‘d guess) was the reason the monuments were constructed in the places and orientations selected by our Neolithic forebears. She didn’t have a mobile back then, of course, but one can speculate that telephone interference phenomena, such as you describe, could be linked to an intersection of contemporary and ancient technologies…

  3. Try holding your phone up in any conversation and say I’m documenting all this so now lets chat – and see what happens! people don’t want to be filmed photoed or recorded in conversations period! Good luck with this product GEEKs will be the only one using it!

  4. Stupid point of the day –

    “Couriers, visitors, janitors all of a sudden become a threat to businesses as these people get into various offices, have access to files late at night and Google Glasses can go live to whoever is wanting information on their competitors.”

    Are couriers, visitors and janitors currently restricted from owning / using a smart phone in those same instances?? I believe an iPhone can just as easily “go live” with video and photos as these ridiculous Google Glass devices can, and probably far more discreetly.

    1. Yes, but you miss the point that the iPhone is a “phone” and Google Glasses is designed to record what you see and load it up to the internet. Unless you see people holding up phones with the video record on.

      This is “creepware”.

      1. creepware (wear) is right. It is a subtle but massive distinction. I am quite happy to have people come to my house for a party or drinks or whatever, all with iPhones (or what have you). But if some prick shows up with Google Glass on, no one would feel comfortable talking to them, and they would be ejected immediately.

      2. Maybe I mis-understood the person I talked to over the weekend that I saw using these … she said they connected to her Android device via bluetooth, and used an APP on her phone for storing video / photos, and used the data connection on her phone to get to the internet. She made it sound like this was simply a BT accessory – no onboard memory, no onboard OS, no onboard cell data chip. Just a camera, microphone, battery and BT radio.

        She said she could make calls like a BT headset, and could stream video to a caller (like FaceTime). It did not sound like it was broadcasting every movement of her day to the internet. She did show me how you have to tell it take a photo, then tell it to send the photo to someone in her address book – she sent the photo to her friend so she could show me they had received the photo.

        She did not show me the video calling – said the call had to go to an Android phone, and her friend was using an iPhone. She did tell it to record a video, which she played back on her phone. I wasn’t impressed with it for sure.

        And, it looked absolutely ridiculous on her! We were in a park in Ann Arbor MI over by the Google Offices, I figured she was probably an employee out field testing.

        But back to my point – there was nothing I saw, that I couldn’t do with an iPhone, and do far more discreetly with an iPhone. I could easily keep my iPhone in my hand or pocket, while a FaceTime call was running. But wearing those dorky looking cyborg wannabe glasses would be hard to conceal.

      3. Google chairman Eric Schmidt famously said, “Google policy is to get right up to the creepy line and not cross it.”

        Slick workaround: they will instead persuade US to cross it. Brilliant!

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