New York City Police Department beta-testing Google Glass

“Google Glass may soon become a favored tool for law enforcement agencies in the United States,” Richard Byrne Reilly reports for VentureBeat.

“The New York City Police Department’s massive and controversial intelligence and analytics unit is evaluating whether Google Glass is a decent fit for investigating terrorists and helping cops lock up bad guys, VentureBeat has learned,” Reilly reports. “The department recently received several pairs of the modernist-looking specs to test out.”

“The news that the country’s largest police department is eagerly beta-testing Google’s products comes at a sensitive time for the company, given its entanglement in various intelligence-gathering efforts from spy agencies in the U.S. and abroad,” Reilly reports. “A spokesman for Google said the company was not working with law enforcement agencies on the project and that the NYPD likely acquired the glasses through the Google Glass Explorer program.”

“The chief information officer of the San Francisco police department, Susan Merritt, said that her department has yet to test the wearable Google computers. But she says the applications for law enforcement are potentially huge,” Reilly reports. “The San Francisco department currently deploys Samsung S4 smartphones for cops working the street. Merritt says the S4 has become an integral tool because it enables officers to access the department’s criminal database to run warrant checks and pull up mugshots of wanted suspects in real time.”

MacDailyNews Take: Why in Jobs’ name is San Francisco using South Korean knockoffs of American products when Apple Inc. is not only an American company, but whose headquarters are located a mere 43 miles away? Who made that decision, exactly?

“Google Glass could have a similar value proposition for police forces, Merritt said, pointing out that wireless facial recognition software is one potential use,” Reilly reports. “But the glasses could run afoul of civil liberty groups who say Google Glass and their wireless software programs could encroach on the rights of innocent citizens, especially in a city like San Francisco. Asked about these issues, Merritt deferred answering… So far in New York, the NYPD official says, it’s too early to tell.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Woz was right about something today: The United States risks becoming a police state. And, we simply do not currently see the type of quality people in place who possess the wherewithal to do what’s right. Short of Ben Franklin et al. reanimating themselves and clawing their way up topside again, this country just might be doomed.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Arline M.” for the heads up.]

55 Comments

    1. I welcome this news!

      Police should be made to wear these things for our protection!

      I want the police’s actions recorded nonstop anytime they leave their vehicle. The dash cam has proven to be extremely effective in exposing bad players and these glasses will only further illuminate how effective or ineffective these officers are when confronted with myriad situations on the street.

      All recordings should be accomplished using a “black box”, so that officers are unable to manipulate any of their recordings.

      Every cop needs to know their being recorded 24/7 and be forced to keep their aggression in check.

      1. I agree with your thoughts entirely, but have doubts regarding the outcome. Having been involved as a developer on a program in the ’70s that automatically reported the position of patrol cars to their dispatchers, I was astounded at the frequency of repeated sudden failures of the equipment for an hour or two during a patrol. I predict that Google Glass will be frequently knocked from the officers head, rendering them inoperable, during any altercation. Cops are quire creative at doing what they damned well please.

      2. quiviran is unfortunately correct. Here in NYC, the NYPD are supposed to be bound by the Handschu Decree, which settled a lawsuit against them for using recording devices to intimidate political activists. They are limited in when and how they can record.
        They are notorious for violating that judicial order and filming when no one is breaking the law.
        In a case this past year against Michael Premo, an Occupy Wall Street activist, the police testified under oath that he had rushed them “like a linebacker” and knocked down an officer. The defense asked for the NYPD footage, but the NYPD said it wasn’t filming. Luckily, someone else was recording. It showed two things: 1) Michael Premo being knocked down by police when they pushed the crowd they had trapped, then jumped on when he tried to crawl away; and 2) a red recording light on the NYPD tech guy’s handheld video camera.
        So, double perjury. They testified lies under oath against the defendant, and also lied to withhold exculpatory evidence.
        The jury acquitted Premo – thank God.
        Guess who wasn’t prosecuted for perjury? The police almost never are, despite repeated perjury. I guess that’s why they do it – no penalty.
        So, while I’d love for every police action to be recorded, I know that video that shows their abuse and reveals their lies would disappear, while they would use the tech to oppress and intimidate people trying to exercise their First Amendment rights.
        See the “police state” thread below. When the police can violently suppress speech by actual dissenters without any penalty, guess what? We are there.

        1. Thanks for your thoughtful response, it’s appreciated.

          Your anecdotal example is clearly a violation of the equipment’s intended use, however going forward your concern would be moot.

          I made it clear though there would be NO MORE manipulation of technology on the part of the police. Like an aircraft’s “black box” which cannot be manipulated by humans is an extremely important tool in an investigation and isn’t subject to massaging.

          This gear would not be deployed as a tool for the police, but the courts.

          Therein lies a big difference; the court establishes the regulations for deploying these devices, including drones, and WON’T BE OPERATED BY THE POLICE, just as the Black box isn’t controlled by the pilot, but the plane.

          It doesn’t take much imagination to explore the many ways devices like these can be abused in the field and at no time is the possibility of manipulation greater than when humans are controlling the equipment.

          These devices will not be used by humans to justify arrests, they’ll still have to make judgements in the field but, it will be used exclusively by the Justice Department.

  1. In honor of the 103rd anniversary of his birth today:

    Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same. – Ronald Reagan

      1. Only by stupid people who think that people who believe in the Constitution and God given rights are “extremist”.

        I say people who steal my money and borrow even more to give to people who don’t work or to deploy troops to where they don’t belong are the EXTREMISTS.

        1. Democrats & Republicans are the same thing. Did you ever see anything change when either one was in power. Did borrowing stop under Republican Control? Wake up. If you were knocked into a coma for 4 years and then woke up, there would be no way you can tell whether we had a Republican or Democratic President. Everything would look the same, and it would take the same amount of time to drive to work. We keep arguing over Dems and Repubs when we can’t even tell the difference.

          This is all just a distraction from what is really going on. Being on one side or the other is EXACTLY what they want. They don’t care whose side you are on, as long as you are on a side because this way they know you are brainwashed and not a trouble maker. The Independents are more worry some. The Occupy people who fight against both sides, these are the people they are most worried about, and the people the NSA is spying against and using facial recognition on.

          If you are a Republican or a Democrat, then you are hopelessly brainwashed and you are not worth spying on so don’t worry. You’re fine!

    1. “Your worst enemy could be your best friend, and your best friend your worst enemy.” — Bob Marley

      Date of Birth: February 06, 1945

      Gaagle & Samdung….. the worst this globe has ever seen.

      1. His being shot in 1981 may have contributed to his decline. Medical opinions vary, but at least he survived until 1987 to say “Tear down this wall!” Sometimes in the course of events, a single iconic remark resonates far beyond a mere registry of legislative changes.

        1. And torn down it was.

          While one can attribute the fall of the Soviet empire to the contributions of Ronald Reagan, Mikhail Gorbachev and Pope John Paul II, personally I give the principal credit to the valor of Lech Walesa.

  2. The US is indeed becoming a police state. Scratch that, we’ve been a police state since at least the late 80s/early 90s. Around that time, the government simply thought they could control the population, and these Ideas date back to the 1960s with the MK ULTRA programs. And now, in the early 21st century…the police have been invested with that type of power. The US has been taking some pointers from the UK, who are probably the best example of a police state. I think Google could send over some Google Glasses over to London…

    1. As far as I understand it, (thank you Wikipedia)

      “The inhabitants of a police state experience restrictions on their mobility, and on their freedom to express or communicate political or other views, which are subject to police monitoring or enforcement. Political control may be exerted by means of a secret police force which operates outside the boundaries normally imposed by a constitutional state”.

      As a Brit, with family in the North, and near London, friends in London and the Midlands and living in the South, I can say that I have never experienced any of these things. And as for the government having totalitarian control… I would say that it was far far more common to perceive our government as a joke with no power whatsoever except to take too much money for themselves and get nothing done whatsoever. Google glasses would be the last thing on our governments list – they’d prefer it if we all went back to everything only involving the use of pens and paper and doing nothing but shouting at each other all day. I can’t speak for the feelings of the Irish, Welsh or Scottish, but I can certainly spout a few baseless stereotypes – that the Scots wouldn’t stand a police state, the Irish wouldn’t be controlled by one and the Welsh probably wouldn’t notice, whereas the English would argue about it in pubs and end up doing nothing about it. Luckily our government would never be competent enough either to manage it or – more critically – even to want to.

  3. I blame the racist Teapublicans on this. They have been trying to profile people of African-American descent ever since Rodney King, and now they have the tools to easily do this racist BS! Not even Obama is safe! Obama was simply trying to show support for Trayvon Martin, and the Right-Wing Media decided to spin it out of control. Google’s glass device will only hurt race relations even more if they give it to police departments.

    1. You are simply very wrong about this. The Tea Party was formed in an effort to elect representative that would push for a smaller Federal Government with less spending. How or from where was never clear,. That’s IT. It was formed because of exponential growth of the Federal Government over the past fifty years in its budgets, its employment, and its bureaucracy that neither the Democrats or Republican seemed inclined to stem. It has no platform relating race or gender. The reason you have seen so many heinous reports about the Tea Party is because they were gaining traction, pulling moderates from established Parties, especially Democrats that couldn’t bear the idea of going Republican but have become disenchanted with the move to the left within their party. The hit was put out to manufacture as much ugly disinformation as the mass media would gobble up. It sounds like you’ve been feeding on it. I went to a number of early Tea Party rallies in the early years and was witness to the inclusion of every race, heritage and gender. The topic: reduce the size of government, control of a skyrocketing federal budget. That said, some kooky people have shown up running for office under the Tea Party banner, but that’s more because its a young party without much national structure. I just have gotten really tired of this vilification of the Tea Party. While their intent of reining in Federal Government size and spending may not fit every persons political desire, they DO NOT deserve the lies and disinformation constantly parroted by those ignorant about their true objectives. I respectfully invite you to listen to or read the actually full statements or speeches of some Tea Party people, not reports of what they said. You are incensed about President Obama’s words spun in an ugly way? Well that’s how I feel when people casually associate anyone in the Tea Party with racists, misogynists, take phases out of context to distort reality, or apply apply hateful and ugly motives to rational proposals that are worthy of discussion.

      1. As with other groups that claim their group has been taken over, don’t only act the victim. Work with other like minded folk on fixing the problems causing your group to look bad. As the saying goes “if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem”.

      2. To that I say, follow the money. The Tea Baggers are the unwitting puppets of big, well hidden, money. The disruptive actions of the Tea Baggers during the 2008 election cycle painted their true portrait, they’re just getting better at playing rational.

  4. As for San Francisco, it’s one of the worst run cities in America. And SFPD is a joke. It has a very high number of unsolved cases. Samsung G4 must not work that well.

  5. If you use google in any way you are accomplices to this.
    You people suck.
    My wife has a gmail account. We’re closing it today and letting people know exactly why.

    1. Great post, boycott. It works SO well in bringing about change to insult people. That is, no doubt, why it is so often used by the great leaders we all respect. /s

      1. Idiot.
        Canceling any and all interaction with google is all anyone can do to fight this kind of pervasive evil.
        If you’re insulted them it must be because you are a google user.

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