by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
congress, google glass, privacy


Congress Grandstanding Over Google Glass 'Privacy' Concerns; Next Up: Privacy Concerns Over Your Eyes

from the oh-come-on dept

We should have know that once the press started picking up on the ridiculous moral panic over Google Glass that Congress would be quick to follow. In a move that smacks of traditional political grandstanding, a group of Congressional Representatives have sent a letter to Google raising a bunch of questions about the supposed "privacy concerns" of Google Glass. I'm wondering if next they'll summon a representative of the seeing public to discuss the privacy concerns of your own two eyes.

First, they jump to the go-to point that any anti-Google privacy activist goes to: the data collection from open WiFi. What no one ever seems willing to discuss is the fact that this is the nature of open WiFi. Anyone can see any of the unencrypted data traveling over that access point. Why that gets blamed on Google makes no sense. They also worry about privacy of non-users, which is definitely a point that others have raised. But, how is this privacy issue different than one of basic sight. Google Glass sees what a user sees. If they can see you doing something you don't want exposed, they can reveal that as well. How is that a privacy issue specific to Google Glass? There are a number of other odd questions, including whether or not Google considered the privacy implications of the NY Times' Google Glass app. Huh? First off, if there were privacy implications, shouldn't they be the NY Times' concern on that issue? And second, can anyone explain why possible privacy issue could be in play here? It's a news app on a tiny screen. So what?

When regular cameras first came on the scene, there were similar scare stories and people worried about the privacy impact of still photo cameras. We pretty quickly learned how to cope and adapt to that. Why do people think we can't learn and cope with Google Glass?

Reader Comments

The First Word

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. icon
    John Fenderson (profile), 17 May 2013 @ 9:06am

    Re: Re:

    It seems to me the word "grandstanding" is an unfair characterization.

    I think "grandstanding" is entirely fair. Why are they having a hissy fit about this, but they completely ignore the other, even greater, privacy infringements that we've been subject to for years (CCTV, the consolidation of electronic data, internet surveillance, etc.)?

    They're picking this as their target because they smell the ability to generate and capitalize on a populist outrage while not even beginning to address the real problems.

    That's the very definition of grandstanding.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.