History Repeating: Google Glass Getting Same Treatment As Walkman And Cameras Once Did

from the will-glassholes-look-better-in-hindsight? dept

There's just something about Google Glass that seems to... create a visceral emotional response among some people. For some it's excitement at the potential, but for many others it's pure hate, leading to things like the term "glasshole" and various reports of attacks or problems for Google Glass wearers. It's even to the point that Kash Hill at Forbes has an article based on all the various news stories about "places not to wear your Google Glass." Personally, I don't have (nor want) a pair right now, but I'm excited by the potential and opportunity for wearable devices (even as it seems fashionable to hate on the concept).

A few months ago, though, the folks at On the Media's TLDR blog posted a story comparing the launch of the Walkman to the launch of Glass that I keep thinking about. The basic idea was that with the Walkman there was a similar reaction to the idea of people walking around wearing headphones all the time. Of course, today, you basically can't walk anywhere without seeing people with headphones on -- but, as they note, in the early days, people really didn't like it. That link takes you to an NPR story from 1981 about people reacting to the original Walkman. And the quotes could almost all be applied to much of the haters of Google Glass today:
Unidentified Man #1: They're obnoxious.

Unidentified Man #2: It looks stupid to me. Some people approve of it, you know. It's fine if - privacy your home, you know? A closet radio listener.

(Soundbite of laughter)

PROFITT: You know what? I love these big radios.

(Soundbite of music)

PROFITT: But there's something weird about these little headphones, isn't there?

Unidentified Man #2: Yeah, people do kind of look funny and they kind of look, like, you know, pretty smug when I'm wearing them and everything.

Unidentified Man #1: With a radio, it's a power impulse, because I used to have big radio and everybody admires you with the radio. But as far as the little Walkmans is concerned, you're keeping all the sound to yourself.

PROFITT: What, pray tell, are you listening to on your headphones?
That "smug" line is really the killer one, given that's the biggest complaint about "glassholes." I have no idea if Glass itself will catch on. Certainly plenty of the reviews point to significant problems with the current versions. But it seems likely that something like Glass, if not Glass itself, will eventually catch on. Even if they look dorky and make people look smug. I recently saw, for example, a Kickstarter project for some interesting looking augmented reality glasses that have many similar features to Glass. And the product video made it look really cool... until they actually showed someone wearing the damn thing, and my emotional response was the same as folks above. It just looks ridiculous.

Of course, the more you look, the more you realize that such fears aren't a new phenomenon or a rare thing either. The Walkman/headphones example is just one of many. For example, back when Eastman Kodak released its first cameras, there was a similar freakout:
The appearance of Eastman's cameras was so sudden and so pervasive that the reaction in some quarters was fear. A figure called the "camera fiend" began to appear at beach resorts, prowling the premises until he could catch female bathers unawares. One resort felt the trend so heavily that it posted a notice: "PEOPLE ARE FORBIDDEN TO USE THEIR KODAKS ON THE BEACH." Other locations were no safer. For a time, Kodak cameras were banned from the Washington Monument. The "Hartford Courant" sounded the alarm as well, declaring that "the sedate citizen can't indulge in any hilariousness without the risk of being caught in the act and having his photograph passed around among his Sunday School children."
Even if these kinds of reactions may be perfectly normal emotional responses to new technologies, these days, I'm trying to keep in mind that recognizing the real possibility of such devices can take some time. So, the next time you're tempted to make fun of someone for wearing Glass or something similar, think about whether you'd make fun of the same person for popping in earbuds to listen to some music or a podcast, or for carrying a camera around her neck, and remember... things change.

Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    Nate (profile), May 2nd, 2014 @ 12:53am

    Sad when people fear what they don't understand.

     

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    Whatever, May 2nd, 2014 @ 1:10am

    Cool Story Bro!

    It's a cool story, but misses the key element: Walkman was about defining your personal space, glassholes are about invading your personal space and taking away privacy from others.

    It's not about the glasshole himself or herself. It's about what they forcibly take away from others. Pull out your camera phone in a gym lockerroom and see how long it takes someone to say something. Where I live, it takes seconds.

    Our privacy is already very much at risk, glasses that can take an image or record a video without you knowing isn't just creepy, it's wrong. For a site that pushes on and on about personal privacy and all, it seems pretty weird to come out on the side of Google on this one.

     

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    guestyo, May 2nd, 2014 @ 1:21am

    If the walkman recorded and potentially broadcasted all conversations you had with the wearer, then perhaps the analogy would be better.

     

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    mayonese, May 2nd, 2014 @ 2:10am

    Invalid comparison

    There is, and always will be people who refuse new technology. However, trying to get them all under one definition without looking at the concrete issues that are raised seems a little unfair. Not all of the people who critic google glass are luddites, there are real concerns about this technolgy that can affect people's life in a concrete way.

    The real main issue about google glass is not privacy, because there is no reasonable expectation of privacy in a public space, but even this is not universal, in europe privacy laws are much more strict that in the us, you cannot take photos or videos of specific subjects without consent.

    However, there still is an expectation of _anonimity_ in public spaces. Up to this moment people can see me around, but does not know who I am or anything else about me. With google glass+permanent internet connection+facial recognition everybody can and will be recognized and tracked.

    But still, the issue is not with the technology, is how it will be certainly abused by whoever will get his hands on this vast amount of data (google in the first place). Up until now, all security cam recordings are supposed to be accessed only by selected personnel and not kept indefinitely. With an army of walking non-regulated cameras there is a world of opportunities for corporations, governments and criminals.

    Just a few examples on why anonimity in public spaces is important:

    -You go into a sexy shop
    -You go to a political meeting
    -You live in a country with a repressive government and you want to go to a political meeting
    -You have gender identity issues and want to go for counseling
    -You have been raped and want to go for counseling
    -You want to receive counseling because you are thinking to have an abortion

    And in all af this cases you would like not to be recognized when you go in one of those places.

    A few additional notes, the "there are already cellphones with cameras" argument is completely invalid. A cell phone needs to be *raised* at face level to take a photo, an action that is absolutely clear to everybody, google glass is already in the correct position to take photos or videos, that is one of the main reasons that annoys people (the same way they would be annoyed if somone approached them filming .

    Sometimes we should just stop following the carrot that is dangled in front of us to see where it is really attached.

     

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    G Thompson (profile), May 2nd, 2014 @ 2:20am

    Re:

    awwww are you all uptight because what you say, do or act like in a PUBLIC place might be shown to ANYONE publicly.

    poor diddums.. Tell you what, my advice to you is Stay indoors encased in bubble wrap and let the more mature, reasonable and non butthurt humans live outside.

    Oh and I do believe my AIWA Walkman equivalent in the 1980's actually recorded too

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2014 @ 2:21am

    Re:

    Ths major issue is that you're alrewayd being recorded and watched all the time. So, I have to ask - why would Glass-type technologies be any worse?

     

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    G Thompson (profile), May 2nd, 2014 @ 2:22am

    Your whole argument is moot (I'm not even going to go into the non legality of "anonimity" in any jurisdiction) when you consider just one acronym

    CCTV

     

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    mayonese, May 2nd, 2014 @ 2:29am

    Re: CCTV

    Please, try to read my post before attacking it.

    1) I said that PRIVACY is regulated more strictly in europe not ANONIMITY.

    2) However, at a social level ANONIMITY in public spaces is expected.

    3) As I already pointed out, CCTV are supposed to be watched by a limited number of personnel, and also not kept indefinitely.

     

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    G Thompson (profile), May 2nd, 2014 @ 2:31am

    Re:

    Oh and what's with the counseling points??? As far as I know Counseling sessions are closed private meetings, are not advertised who is attending when, and are in normal nondescript offices (or medical centers) where the videoing of clients is already disallowed due to already in place laws or due to it being private property

    As for if people make widely outrageous allegations about someone attending a place that might have a councellor and who might specifically deal with your scenarios are setting themselves up for defamation actions.

    As for the 'sexy shop' or political meeting so what.. anyone who is in a position where attending them might be of concern (for stupidity reasons normally seen only in the USA) has already got a problem with private investigators looking for this anyway who use highly non visible cameras anyway.

    I'll give you the point about oppressive regimes, though the article implied it was about Democratic countries.

     

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    mayonese, May 2nd, 2014 @ 2:40am

    Re: Re:

    The problem with counseling points (and all the other places I mentioned) is that you have to GO there physically. At the moment it is not really a problem, you move a few kilometers away from your town and your expectations to not be recognized are fullfilled. With a google+glass future in perspective, no matter how much far you go, the internet is everywhere.

    You are right about defamation, but if you arrive at a trial the damage is already done.

    And your observation about private investigators is true, as for the CCTV before, but both of this activities are regulated and the recordings are still kept in a close circle of people. Google glass is a commercial product backed by a company that has everything to gain by having everyone wear cameras for them.

     

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    G Thompson (profile), May 2nd, 2014 @ 2:43am

    Re: Re: CCTV

    At a social level not being obnoxious, not being dressed innapropriately, not picking your nose & eating it, and a whole other list of social graces are expected.

    Doesn't mean they are legally nor ethically correct though. Which was the whole point of the article.
    Mike was showing how humans are just Fearful of anything new, and will always try to stop what they don't understand because of the [insert some moral/religious/whatever reason here].

    You stating anonimity proves this point specifically.


    David Brin once wrote a book on privacy v. openness called the transparent Society . Luckily chapter one is available online [ http://www.davidbrin.com/transparentsociety1.html ] it talks about the two extremes of transparency vs big brother privacy. I know which world I'd rather live in, and its the one where google glass and others like it gives everyone transparency and no one entity controls everything.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2014 @ 2:48am

    Re: Invalid comparison

    Anonymity in public is dependent on there being nobody about who recognizes you, or any images or videos that may have been taken not being seen by someone who recognizes you. To remain anonymous in public requires that the person hides their face, and removes or hides any items, clothes or tattoos that may lead to them being identified.

     

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    G Thompson (profile), May 2nd, 2014 @ 2:54am

    Yes like all torts (and most laws actually) defamation is a reactive not proactive response that tries to restrict and recompense for that damage. It's the psychological fear of having to pay damages that stops most people from defaming anyone they see. *This is the point of most laws in the first place*

    I think I know what your trying to say and its mainly about who controls what is seen, who sees it etc. Though you are already stating that its coming its going to be (like iPhones etc) ubiquitous (EVERYWHERE) so when anyone can do it, anyone can be filmed by it, all actions are monitored and broadcast and available for anyone to browse, search, whatever at leisure (though just because its available doesn't mean it will be seen) where is the problem since the control and authority is everywhere.

    When EVERYONE is able to do something and transparency is full and open, believe me human civilisation and the human psyche will get over it and carry on as it always has until the next big FUD problem comes along and makes everyone think OMG what will we do.

     

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    G Thompson (profile), May 2nd, 2014 @ 2:55am

    Re: Re: Re:

    oops. the reply to this is here

     

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    mayonese, May 2nd, 2014 @ 3:07am

    Re: Re: Invalid comparison

    You are right that you are anonymous until you are recognized by someone, but can you see the difference between being recognized by one person who knows you and the whole internet knowing it via one single google glass wearer?

    At the current time, in public spaces you are already anonymous to the large majority of the people in the same space, without the need to cover your face.

     

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    mayonese, May 2nd, 2014 @ 3:21am

    Re:

    Of course laws work that way, but the issue is that if a person's privacy has already been broadcast to the internet, you have probably damaged his life, and that's something that you cannot rewind.

    And yes, one of the major issues with google glass is not the technology per se (I for one would love a portable hud like that) but is who has access to the data it records.

    Unfortunatley the answer with google glass is "everyone who has an internet connection".

    Knowing how much data is desirable by governments, coroporations, criminals we should really be more careful on how much of it we are willing to give away just to wear the last technological gadget.

    In this case, the benefits from a technology like google glass have to be weighted against the negative impact that it can have on the society. Just dismissing the critics as luddites avoids any rational discussion on the subject.

     

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    anonyo, May 2nd, 2014 @ 3:39am

    Re: Re: Re: CCTV

    I guess I'll wear my wireless jammer, cell jammer, audio jammer and video jammer on me all the time then. Many will and if you don't like it you can take a hike you ludite.....

     

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    Michael, May 2nd, 2014 @ 4:05am

    This article completely misses the point about the current negative reaction to Google glass, which, for a website that normally covers surveillance so well, is unfortunate.

    People don't want people walking around pointing a camera in their face. They find it rude. It doesn't make it different just because the camera is attached to someone's face. It doesn't make a difference that its currently legal. Its still a dickish thing to do.

    Walkmans were about removing oneself from a public sphere, Google glass is about being a walking recording device literally pointing in everyone's face, all the time, and linking with the huge panopitcon Google, whose literal core business is building invasive advertising models of people to sell them advertising. It doesnt matter if the battery can't currently support always on recording, and sating that people should have to stare into your face constantly to check you're not recording them is not an appropriate response.

    Its about the surveillance, stupid.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2014 @ 4:13am

    Re: Re: Re: Invalid comparison

    At the current time, in public spaces you are already anonymous to the large majority of the people in the same space, without the need to cover your face.

    The same applies to videos on the Internet. What you are worrying about is not a large number of people who do not recognize you, but the far fewer number who do. You can be recognized by chance in public, or on the Internet and if that is a problem, take steps to avoid it.

     

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    TechNoFear (profile), May 2nd, 2014 @ 4:14am

    I develop IT / OT solutions for a living and love technology, but I do find my self disliking Google Glass.

    I think it is because I cannot opt out.

    Currently I can (mostly) choose where on the internet info on my activities appears, once this technology is common that will no longer be true.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2014 @ 4:34am

    Re: Re:

    Unfortunatley the answer with google glass is "everyone who has an internet connection".

    Really? The Glass automatically uploads everything from the camera to the public internet regardless of what the user does? The same camera that would run down the battery in under an hour if it were kept on?

     

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    mayonese, May 2nd, 2014 @ 5:10am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Invalid comparison

    I would like that you ponder these three circumstances:

    1)You are passing in a public space, nobody recognizes you
    2)You are passing in a public space, a friend recognizes you
    3)You are passing in a public space, a google glass wearer "Sees" you (recorded and uploaded to the net)

    In 1 your anonymity is preserved,
    In 2 just one person saw and recognized you, still your anonymity in the public space is preserved
    In 3, your photo or video is permanently stored somewhere, there is plenty of time to do face recognition later, and once that is done, there is a permanent record of you being there at a certain time. All of your movements will be recorded by hundreds of human cameras and stored forever.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2014 @ 5:27am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Invalid comparison

    4)You are passing in a public space, a smartphone user "Sees" you (recorded and uploaded to the net)
    5)You are passing in a public space, an iPad user "Sees" you (recorded and uploaded to the net)
    6)You are passing in a public space, a Digital Camera user "Sees" you (recorded and uploaded to the net)
    7)You are passing in a public space, a dashboard camera "Sees" you (recorded and uploaded to the net)
    8)You are passing in a public space, a Police Lapel camera "Sees" you (recorded and uploaded to the net)
    9)You are passing in a public space, a drone camera "Sees" you (recorded and uploaded to the net)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2014 @ 5:44am

    While there are concerns about the use of surveillance equipment by individuals, such as small cameras for taking upskirt shots, I think Google Glass is controversial for other reasons. Chiefly the fact that all recordings are ostensibly uploaded to a central party, Google, where they will be stored indefinitely, analyzed and mined for ads. Thanks to Edward Snowden's disclosures, we know governments can obtain this sort of information in bulk without a high barrier of proof and without individualized suspicion.

    Google Glass is a manifestation of corporate power over individuals and coupled with fear of government access, can contribute to social control and a chilling effect.

    I don't remember a backlash against gopro cameras and I'd wager that's because they aren't explicitly connected with a data mining company. Personal recording devices give the end user control, and from what I've seen, corporate surveillance devices do not, at least not be default. And we should all know how powerful default settings are in terms of the choices we make.

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), May 2nd, 2014 @ 5:54am

    Re: Invalid comparison

    "A cell phone needs to be *raised* at face level to take a photo, an action that is absolutely clear to everybody, google glass is already in the correct position to take photos or videos"

    A cell phone certainly doesn't have to be raised at face level to take a photo. Also, Glass has a visible light that goes on when it's recording.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2014 @ 5:55am

    Re: Re: Re: CCTV

    >the one where google glass and others like it gives everyone transparency

    Transparency does not erase the power differential present in state-based societies. As long as we give certain groups like law enforcement, military, and politicians power and privilege over other groups, equal transparency will always benefit those groups. That is why we demand accountability from those who we give that power to and protection for those who it could be used against.

    What's the advantage of knowing what genre of porn the officer beating you happens to like?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2014 @ 6:12am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Invalid comparison

    In 3, your photo or video is permanently stored somewhere, there is plenty of time to do face recognition later, and once that is done, there is a permanent record of you being there at a certain time. All of your movements will be recorded by hundreds of human cameras and stored forever.

    Your Image is probably in several collections of photographs or videos, held by individuals, and possibly on the Net, due to you being caught by people celebrating something in a public space. Just because your presence is captured, does not mean it available to the public. Also note that video from Google glasses are much more useful for tracking the wearer, that anybody who pops in and out of view of the wearer.
    However what you are rightly concerned about is state surveillance and data gathering, which has little to do with Google glasses use. You should be much more worried about state owned and operated surveillance cameras.
    Lots of Images and videos scattered across different accounts is not a major problem, as reliably searching it, and extracting data about a person is difficult. A state owned and operated database on the other hand is a major concern, as the data is collated and organized top make searching easy, and it is all too easily abused.

     

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  28.  
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    mayonese, May 2nd, 2014 @ 6:20am

    Re: Re: Invalid comparison

    Please show me how you can take hidden photos with your cellphone without being hidden yourself and/or bending in awkward positions to point the camera at someone's face or without hiding the smartphone in an object.

    And for the led argument, you can desolder or cover it, haven't you ever thought of that option? Or you think it is impossible?

     

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  29.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), May 2nd, 2014 @ 6:25am

    Re: Re:

    Here, let me turn your paranoia to 11.

    This already exists.

    And it exists in a much less noticeable and less expensive package.

     

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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), May 2nd, 2014 @ 6:26am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: CCTV

    Those are illegal in the US. Cameras in public aren't.

     

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    mayonese, May 2nd, 2014 @ 6:34am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Invalid comparison

    You are right that my face is probably somewhere (in a video or in a picture posted online), but I am sure there are not a lot of them. If I think of a future where google glasses are everywhere however the possibility of having hundreds of videos/photos of my face increases.

    I am very worried about state survelliance, but that is apparently an already closed topic, cctv cameras are popping everywhere, and too many frightened people greet them as the panacea to resolve all crime, and the only conversation point they have about this topic is "You do not want cameras? WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO HIDE?".

    But it is much more difficult to object to government decisions than to try to regulate the use end/or distribution of a commercial product that hasn't reached wide adoption yet.

     

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    Diar, May 2nd, 2014 @ 6:40am

    Re: Invalid comparison

    "A cell phone needs to be *raised* at face level to take a photo..."

    Uh....no it does not. Cellphones are used for 1 milliom times more clandestine photo taking and recording than Glass ever will be SPECIFICALLY because they are easier to hide and hold in your hand seemingly innocently while recording a wide field of view. I don't know what device the Clippers owner's racist tirade was secretly recorded on but I'd venture it was more likely a cellphone than Glass.

     

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    mayonese, May 2nd, 2014 @ 6:43am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Thanks for the pointer, as If I did not know that tiny wearable cameras are available from like 20+ years?

    But they are sold for one purpose, to do hidden recordings. And the company that produces them gains money by selling them, period.

    Google glasses, however, are produced by google, an ad company, who has absolute interest in having a rich behavior profile for everybody in the world. The money it gets from the sales of those glasses is not their main revenue point, that would be the data they will gather that will be the real value for them. The more the data the merrier google.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2014 @ 6:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Invalid comparison

    >Also note that video from Google glasses are much more useful for tracking the wearer, that anybody who pops in and out of view of the wearer.

    This is true at first, when these devices are relatively rare and limited by battery life. But potentially, like smartphones, these devices will become widely adopted. This makes it more likely for any individual to have their actions and travels tracked by entities they have not given explicit permission to, such as their wireless carrier.

    For example a city filled with surveillance cameras may record the travels of any individual, but any single recording is not usually invasive. It's the collection of aggregate recordings and those who control that information that has the potential for harm.

    >However what you are rightly concerned about is state surveillance and data gathering, which has little to do with Google glasses use.

    As we know, public-private surveillance partnerships are the norm.
    https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2013/08/the_publicpriva_1.html

    Due to current US laws, private companies have little option but comply with secret requests and often profit from them. But there is also the problem of data that is accessed without their knowledge, either by tapping fiber lines or compromising hardware and software.

    tl;dr until we have laws to forbid it and accountability to ensure it, private surveillance gathering is government surveillance gathering.

    >You should be much more worried about state owned and operated surveillance cameras.

    When the state can obtain private surveillance data, does it really matter whose logo is on the device?

     

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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), May 2nd, 2014 @ 6:44am

    Re:

    The technology you fear is already common and less expensive then Google Glass. You know why your face isn't on the net more? You're boring. No one wants to record you.

    And that's why I'm not afraid of Google Glass. It's old technology, and it's been proven that no one really cares.

    The problem here is that it's Google Glass. No one would give a shit if it was LG Glass. Everyone's afraid of the big bad Google and it's tainting opinions.

     

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    mayonese, May 2nd, 2014 @ 6:46am

    Re: Re: Invalid comparison

    The same question is for you, show me how you can in one day take one thousand photos with your smartphone without being seen.

     

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    ChrisB (profile), May 2nd, 2014 @ 6:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Invalid comparison

    That is a pretty depressing attitude. That the government, THAT YOU ELECTED, is impossible to control, so lets just throw our hands up and bitch about Google.

     

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    ChrisB (profile), May 2nd, 2014 @ 6:49am

    Re: Re: Re: Invalid comparison

    Pretend to talk on the phone while videotaping. Just turn your head 90 degrees from what you want to film. Simple.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2014 @ 6:52am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Invalid comparison

    But it is much more difficult to object to government decisions than to try to regulate the use end/or distribution of a commercial product that hasn't reached wide adoption yet.

    Do you realize that restricting the private citizens ability to record what is going on about them plays into the hands of a police state. The best defense citizens have against a growing police state if the ability to record the actions of the police.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2014 @ 6:53am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Invalid comparison

    Yes it is depressing, however here the discussion is not what are my priorities about surveillance, the argument is google glass, may I decide what I want to talk about in this comment space?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2014 @ 6:59am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Invalid comparison

    It seems to me that you (and not only you) are just answering to the latest post without taking any time to read all the comment thread.

     

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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), May 2nd, 2014 @ 7:06am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yep, thought so. Unfounded fears over the word "Google". At least someone admits it.

    Despite what you see on TV, fixed, high resolution security cameras can't gather enough data to track any one person across the city.

    Uncontrolled, mobile, low resolution cameras cannot do better. Google has no control over where they go, when they're on, or even if they'll be widely used. In fact, for $1500 they almost guarantee Glass won't be widely used.

    If Google wanted to watch your ass all the time, it would cost them less to roll out the CCTV system for your local government. It's not technologically or economically feasible to create a system that can track random faces with random cameras.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2014 @ 7:10am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Invalid comparison

    Any mobile device that connects to a network is much more useful for tracking the person carrying it, than any body else that it picks up in passing. Successful tracking of a person via fixed cameras usually relies on knowing which of a few cameras they will appear in next, and is more likely to succeed if carried out by a human.
    Lots of videos from mobile cameras are almost useless for this purpose, as the amount of computing power needed is excessive, especially as it is very difficult to predict which one of potentially hundreds, or thousands will pick them up next. Devices carried by a person are useful for tracking them, but almost useless for tracking other people.

     

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    mayonese, May 2nd, 2014 @ 7:14am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It would be the same thing if it were facebook+glass or microsoft+glass, because they would do it all for the same reason, profiling data.

    Why are you convinced that everybody just reacts to the name google, have you read anything that I have written? Have I shown so much hatred for google in my comments? I think not, and apparently the only way for you to participate in this conversation is to paint me as a generic anti-google person, and then treat me as the strawman for which you already have all the replies ready.

    Can't you read and discuss on what I have actually written and not on what you think are the reasons behind my writing?

     

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    Michael, May 2nd, 2014 @ 7:19am

    Re: Re: Re: Invalid comparison

    How would you do that with Glass?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2014 @ 7:23am

    People who argue that the technology isn't advanced enough to pose a threat to privacy are either ignorant to the pace of technological change, or the capabilities we have today, or both.

    The systems of mass surveillance are already in place, what's new is the ability to store the data for long periods of time and extract information from that data with new software and algorithms. Those who control that data will be in a position of power and wield influence on those who don't. The facial recognition potential of Google glass is a valid concern, but we must remember that our faces are just one aspect of our trackable features. The more data you collect, the easier it is to compensate for low data quality and current technological limitations.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGxNyaXfJsA
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6UNIfv3ZNT0

     

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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), May 2nd, 2014 @ 7:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It's plainly obvious in this situation that you are afraid of the word Google in Google Glass. You specifically pointed out that you're not afraid of the cameras, but of the name attached to the camera, of Google. I don't see how stating that fact is painting you anything other then what you painted yourself.

    It is unfounded fears over one word. If it was Microsoft or Facebook making glass, I would have said you are afraid of the word "Microsoft" or "Facebook". And it seems you would be. But it would still be an unfounded fear. Microsoft and Facebook would suffer from the same technological and economical limitations as Google.

     

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    mayonese, May 2nd, 2014 @ 7:31am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Sorry, but you have clearly not read a word of anything I have written, otherwise you would not derail the discussion on "name-fear". Come back when you are willing to participate in a conversation instead of looking down on everybody and deciding what there is in one's mind. Ciao.

     

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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), May 2nd, 2014 @ 7:34am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Google glasses, however, are produced by google, an ad company, who has absolute interest in having a rich behavior profile for everybody in the world."

    "But they are sold for one purpose, to do hidden recordings. And the company that produces them gains money by selling them, period."

    You said those two things. You made it clear that you're not afraid of cameras everywhere, you're afraid of Google.

    Care to argue the actual points made, or do you want to continue being a troll?

     

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    mayonese, May 2nd, 2014 @ 7:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I have no interest in trolling you or anybody, you are trying to paint me as a person that starts shaking in fear whenever he hears the word google, you are in error and this name-fear is not the point of the whole discussion, whoever introduced a similar product and had a technological infrastructure that would allow them to track everybody everywhere would raise the same issues for me.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2014 @ 7:53am

    It's not the tech itself, it's the networks and corporations that tech is wedded to.

    Pre-internet, the individual was more in control of how they used a piece of tech and what data was created and who it was shared with. The use of a Walkman and cameras are not controlled by a single entity, it's up to the user to decide who they want to share it with.

    With Google Glass, and with Android phones (and any other product or service with similar terms of use) you are conducting surveillance on Google's behalf by default.

    Comparing Google Glass to the Walkman and cameras is disingenuous because it doesn't take into account the network to which Glass is bound. You can take Google out of Android, you can take Windows out of your computer, but you can't (yet) take Google out of Glass.

     

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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), May 2nd, 2014 @ 8:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Then let me make my point crystal clear. Then you can go argue with yourself all you want.

    Google is a company, they're in it to make money. This I know we agree on.

    Google cannot control where Glass will be, if it'll be worn, if it'll be on, if it'll be recording, if it'll be close enough to see another person properly, or if it'll be pointed in the right direction. So many variables would require the market to be flooded with the things before they could even record a fraction of one person not waring Glass. Everyone around you (and quite a few not around you) would have to ware Glass before Google had any idea who you were.

    The technology behind all this would be even more spectacular. It's one thing to track a moving body threw a city, it's another to track billions of specific people threw the world. And that's what it comes down to, you'd have to track them individually for the data to be of any use.

    Basically I'm saying that the technology to do this is not in Google Glass and would cost so much that Google would go into the red over it.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it's impossible. I'm just saying that it's not feasible for Google or any other company to do it. There are easier ways to make a lot more money.

    Governments, however, are willing to spend more money then the product is worth. If Google or Microsoft or Facebook really wanted to track everything you did, they'd just put in a low-ball bid to put surveillance up in your city. It'd be cheaper, more efficient, and more effective.

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), May 2nd, 2014 @ 8:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Invalid comparison

    "Please show me how you can take hidden photos"

    It's really easy. You hold it in your hand casually with your arm relaxed, hanging near your waist in it's normal position. It's really easy. I've done it a number of times to take pictures of funny people or people doing bizarre things.

    "And for the led argument, you can desolder or cover it, haven't you ever thought of that option"

    True, but so what? Doing that means that people are intentionally trying to take surreptitious pics or video -- and there are already a huge range of cameras that are much less obtrusive and expensive than glass for doing that.

     

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    Play Nicely, May 2nd, 2014 @ 10:01am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Invalid comparison

    One important distinction is that all these pre-glass secret video recordings required intent on behalf of the owner. With glass secret recordings can be done without the wearer of the device even being aware of it via remote controlling exploits and government mandated backdoors.

    Furthermore pre-glass secret recording required for the owner to exhibit a certain malice and a willingness to risk exposure, thus social inhibitions and fear of backlash should have considerably reduced incidence. Glass on the other hand potentially turns secret video recording into a trivial low-risk activity that normal people can casually engage in.

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), May 2nd, 2014 @ 10:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Invalid comparison

    "With glass secret recordings can be done without the wearer of the device even being aware of it"

    Same with cell phones.

    "Furthermore pre-glass secret recording required for the owner to exhibit a certain malice and a willingness to risk exposure"

    Same with glass. To make a secret recording with glass requires you to intentionally disable the light that tells everyone you are recording.

     

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    art guerrilla (profile), May 2nd, 2014 @ 10:40am

    Re:

    (parasitizing off your post)

    1. actually, i STILL think people walking around with headphones on are stoopid; NOT from a 'oh they look stoopid' standpoint (although they do), but from a 'do you WANT to get hit by a (fill in the blank) because you couldn't hear them bearing down on you ? ? ?'
    walking around IMPAIRED like that in normal city/suburban settings is cutting off one of your senses... especially idiots on bicycles, HEARING traffic is an extremely important cue to what is going on around you...
    (speaking as a formerly bike-based lifeform who commuted for years on a bike... no, my commute wasn't 'years', but i did it for 12-15 years...)

    2. i think google goggles will be GREAT for a number of occupations: headsup display field manuals ? Great idea... a bunch of applications that would make great sense and provide a better product/service in a BUSINESS context...

    3. BUT, i REALLY don't want to be around ANYONE who is videoing in general; don't care if it is with a tripod mounted studio camera, a big teevee camera, a little consumer recorder, a lapel 'spy' camera, OR GOOGLE GOGGLES... the goggles are just more insidious...
    4. tell me WHO likes to be photographed under NORMAL everyday circumstances, and i'll show you an unalloyed narcissist...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2014 @ 10:42am

    Re:

    Nah, the analogy is retarded. But comedy is what this blog is all about.

     

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    Play Nicely, May 2nd, 2014 @ 10:42am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Invalid comparison

    For a useful video recording the camera needs to be put in a suitable place, where cellphones in normal use most of the time aren't (they usually remain in a pocket), while glass constantly is.

    A device that can be turned on and off with the blink of an eye with a light that can be easily obscured by a hand gesture or in bright daylight conditions makes a significant difference.

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), May 2nd, 2014 @ 10:43am

    Re: Re:

    "especially idiots on bicycles"

    Indeed. Where I live, bicyclists are required to follow most of the same laws as cars -- and one of those laws is that you can't wear headphones.

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), May 2nd, 2014 @ 10:47am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Invalid comparison

    "A device that can be turned on and off with the blink of an eye"

    Glass does not start recording with the blink of an eye. It takes a voice command.

    "with a light that can be easily obscured by a hand gesture or in bright daylight conditions makes a significant difference."

    We'll just have to disagree on this point. I don't think the difference is significant at all.

    My basic point is that if you're freaking out about Glass in particular, you're freaking out at the wrong thing -- that technology horse has been out of the barn for many years now. In a sense, Glass is better because it's hard to wear them without it being obvious.

    What you're really objecting to is not glass at all, but the recording of people in public.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2014 @ 11:02am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Google glasses, however, are produced by google, an ad company, who has absolute interest in having a rich behavior profile for everybody in the world.

    The first problem Google has to solve is how to figure out what the wearer of the glasses is doing and is interested in by analyzing the footage from their camera. This is a simpler task that figuring out what someone other than a glasses wearer is doing from footage from hundreds to thousands of cameras.
    You should also note that getting any half decent footage from a head mounted camera takes effort of part of the wearer to keep their head reasonably still, and to avoid brushing their hair out of their eyes, refraining from nodding or shaking their head when listening to another person etc.
    Finally you know when someone is wearing Google glasses, even if you are not sure if they are recording, but you do not know if a there is a hidden microphone or camera is in a position to capture you.

     

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    Mason Wheeler (profile), May 2nd, 2014 @ 11:20am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I wish they were required to follow the same laws as cars around here, particularly the one that says you need to move at (reasonably close to) the same speed as the cars around you! It drives me up the wall every time I get stuck behind YET ANOTHER cyclist doing 10-15 MPH in a 45 zone! When I first learned to ride my bike, and even later when I learned to drive, the rule was very simple, and very reasonable: if you can't go the speed limit, stay out of traffic. Apparently common sense has gone out the window since then.

     

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    Rekrul, May 2nd, 2014 @ 11:26am

    At least this won't be an issue for me until Google comes out with a version of Glass with the computer screen on the left. I'm completely blind in my right eye, so the current version is useless to me.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2014 @ 11:44am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Cyclists have as much right to the road as automobiles. On most roads, there are no minimum speed limits. If you want preferential treatment for driving a car, travel on the freeway. Speed limits are maximums, not designations. Show me which law that says you have to travel at the same speed as vehicles around you. There isn't one. Traveling at a safe speed is the only law.

    Please take your elitist, entitled attitude elsewhere and realize roads are a shared resource.

     

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    Mason Wheeler (profile), May 2nd, 2014 @ 11:47am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Traveling at a safe speed is the only law.

    News flash: Any speed where you can't change lanes without requiring oncoming traffic to slam on their brakes is not safe.

    Please take your elitist, entitled attitude elsewhere and realize roads are a shared resource.

    ...as are sidewalks, which are built for the explicit purpose of providing a safe place to accommodate travelers on the roadways who move too slowly to be safe among the motor vehicle traffic.

     

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    Mason Wheeler (profile), May 2nd, 2014 @ 11:51am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    (Argh, why is there no Edit button on here?)

    There's nothing "entitled" or "elitist" about it. Those are the same rules I keep to when I ride. It's called being "reasonable" and "safety-minded." The simple fact of the matter is, with certain heavily-regulated exceptions (crosswalks), the blacktop is inherently not a safe place for anyone not protected by a ton of metal armor.

     

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    Sporkmaster9000 (profile), May 2nd, 2014 @ 12:07pm

    Re: Cool Story Bro!

    Your comments are spot on. Google Glass to me seems like the perfect tool to have people steal your privacy without your knowing. This is completely WRONG. I like what you can get from google glass, but take the F$#@ing camera feature away. This tool as it stands is ripe for all kinds of privacy violations, and in an era of once it's on the web, it's there forever, I am appalled by this. Smart phones have already done enough damage in this respect but at least you have a chance of being noticed if someone is photographing or videoing you.

    I also agree that this article seems to be inconsistent with Mike's typical privacy positions (which I agree with).

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2014 @ 12:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    >Any speed where you can't change lanes without requiring oncoming traffic to slam on their brakes is not safe.

    Cyclists, like any vehicle that has the right of way on a public road should properly signal and merge where appropriate. Motorists and cyclists should always be on the lookout for other vehicles. It's called defensive driving. I can't speak for international law, but in the US operating a bicycle on the sidewalk is illegal. Automobiles and bicycles are considered in the same category of transportation and operate under the same laws. Cyclists should keep to the right of the roadway, but if necessary they have the legal right to "take the lane" if necessary. Just because a speed limit exists doesn't entitle you to drive at that speed at all times. You should always adapt your driving behavior to the current conditions, be they adverse weather, other vehicles, cyclists, or crossing pedestrians.

     

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    The donny (profile), May 2nd, 2014 @ 12:12pm

    Glass Explorer here with insight into Spycam apps

    Guilty as charged. Glass is in plain sight at all times and everyone assumes you're filming them since they don't know, don't understand the operation and how Glass lets you know it's filming. Glass is a rotten spy cam. It is too obvious and the camera is fixed, wide angle and only 5mp.

    But my Note 3, think about the height, can be placed in my shirt pocket while I walk and take continuous video. Not that I've ever done that mind you...

    There are also plenty of "Spy Cam" apps that shut off the shutter sound and snap away at preset intervals. If I tried that with Glass my battery would last about 15 minutes.

    Glass is primarily intended to provide data to the wearer such as doctors being fed patient vitals or me getting places to explore from Field Trip. Following a recipe with greasy hands. Being fed walking directions without taking a phone out of pocket and even while carrying boxes. The camera just happens to be the easiest and most commonly used function that we early adopters take advantage of. and what we do hands free is quite amazing.

    Pushing your kid on a swing while filming and using both hands. Snowboarding or skiing without a helmet mounted contraption. Me catching trout and not needing my hands to start the camera recording when a fish bites.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2014 @ 12:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    > the blacktop is inherently not a safe place for anyone not protected by a ton of metal armor.
    It's also not always a safe place for those not protected by a ton of metal armor. Take motorcyclists. Your chosen vehicle does not justify operating it in a dangerous manner.

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), May 2nd, 2014 @ 1:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "which are built for the explicit purpose of providing a safe place to accommodate travelers on the roadways who move too slowly to be safe among the motor vehicle traffic."

    Not where I live. Where I live, riding a bicycle on the sidewalk is illegal. You must be on the roadway. Fortunately, the majority of roadways have bike lanes on them.

     

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    Mason Wheeler (profile), May 2nd, 2014 @ 1:55pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Oh, I'd agree entirely. Unfortunately, the motorcyclists around here (Los Angeles) don't seem to understand that point, and almost without exception they're a menace to everyone on the road, themselves first and foremost.

    They have this incredibly stupid habit of behaving as if, simply because their vehicle is thin enough to fit between two lanes of traffic, that that is an acceptable behavior pattern. I'm still young enough to remember when I was in Drivers' Ed, and they taught us very specifically that a motorcycle takes up the width of an entire lane, no matter how wide it isn't, and that if we as car drivers disregard that, we're putting the biker in danger. So what am I supposed to do when they do it?

    It's as if they don't understand that mistakes and accidents do happen, both of the "operator error" and the "mechanical failure" variety. If you're that close to a vehicle, leaving the driver no margin of error, and an accident happens, someone's going to end up either in the ER or the morgue, and it's not gonna be the one protected by a ton of metal armor! And I'm getting sick of it. Even if I know that I'm a responsible driver, and that if something does happen and someone does get hurt, it won't be my fault, I still don't want to be stuck with those memories for the rest of my life!

     

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    Sporkmaster9000 (profile), May 2nd, 2014 @ 2:13pm

    Re: Re: Invalid comparison

    Technically you are right about the phone and the camera. I think the essential difference is that while Google glass has a light that goes on, it's still essentially far more subtle to spot someone capturing you on video with Google glass, especially in a public setting. Someone with a phone who his hell bent of capturing you on film will still need to be more proactive and obvious than anyone with google glass. I don't want to have to constantly discern when somebody's glasses may be on. It's just too easy to capture footage of someone without their knowing. We already have far too much of that in our surveillance state.

     

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    Mason Wheeler (profile), May 2nd, 2014 @ 2:18pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I can't speak for international law, but in the US operating a bicycle on the sidewalk is illegal.

    Not everywhere. I've been a cyclist for longer than I've been a driver. I've attended safety courses taught by police officers, and been told in no uncertain terms, "if you cannot go the speed limit, stay off the blacktop."

    I'm curious now. In which states does this eminently sensible rule not apply?

     

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    Play Nicely, May 2nd, 2014 @ 2:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Invalid comparison

    In a way you are right, I am mostly concerned about mass public recording and not so much about the particular technology, thus I am not happy about pre-glass recording devices in public either. I do know that we won't get the genie back into the bottle, so it is about finding ways to deal with the situation.

    Up until now it was perfectly acceptable for a person in public to ask others not to record them and it was generally considered polite to comply with such a request if there is no important reason not to. Glass and the conflicts arising around its use highlight a potential change of this social norm: Suddenly a request for some privacy in the public sphere is seen as backwards and infringing upon everybody's right (both legal and moral) to record and distribute anything that happens in public.

    It is this change that I find problematic and worth discussing. Calling legitimate critics luddites and making legalistic ("but the law allows me to") or defeatist ("privacy is gone for good anyway") points does not strike me as honestly interested in conducting this argument.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2014 @ 3:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Invalid comparison

    The best way forward is to increase people making and posting them to various accounts and services. This swamps the governments ability to process videos, forcing to be much more selective of which ones than actually try to use, based on time and location near to a real crime. Privacy is more likely when there is too much information available that when a manageable amount exists. Such an approach also increases the chance that an exonerating video, or one proving the a persons claim against the police can be found.
    The big danger to privacy is an organized government database which simply tracks your location from cell phone and license plate scanners, rather than that scattered around in the Internet with varying amounts of visibility and quality of indexing.
    Also, what is more of a threat to privacy is commercial recording, made when reliable identification is available, like at a till when using a credit card, especially as it is a pool of data more easily collected by governments, and tied in with government owned surveillance camera data.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2014 @ 10:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Invalid comparison

    Think of it this way. Im a glass user, and under many trials, it is impossible to take videos for so long. It also drains the battery drastically. Why would a average glass user want to waste his battery just to take a video of someone? And even then if one was to take a video, you can see that the light from the glass would be on. It is quite possible to see if that Glass user is taking a video if you could see your face on the reverse of the glass.

     

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    Play Nicely, May 3rd, 2014 @ 5:24am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Invalid comparison

    While this can work in the short term it might backfire in the long run. Storage and analysing capabilities seem to grow faster than any data flooding could so sooner or later they will catch up and have even more data to work with.

    Flooding won't help even in the short term against post-hoc data mining where they don't try to sift out suspicious people from the masses but instead create a backlog for an already known person of interest.

    As chaotic and useless such a mountain of data might look intuitively, when stored and mined comprehensively it can yield a terrifyingly accurate picture of your personality and political leanings, predicting decisions you have yet to make.

    The rising ubiquity of recording devices means we can not rely on technology to defend ourselves. We also have to use social and political strategies to do so - for example if it became the usual and polite thing to do to put all your recording devices in soundproof boxes when visiting someone at home we might help retain some private space. For that to work being critical of widespread recording devices must not be dismissed as paranoid and technophobic but instead recognized as reasonable and justified.

     

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    Chris, May 3rd, 2014 @ 8:35am

    Re: Cool Story Bro!

    Except that glass wasn't meant to take your personal space. Your idiocy and ridiculous remarks are what makes you believe they do.

     

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    Chris, May 3rd, 2014 @ 8:47am

    Re: Invalid comparison

    But glass is not a recording device. It is a wearable computer. People have better things to do than record you and the whole premise of using the thing is for thier productivity. It's so much like human nature to believe that the world revolves around them when it doesn't (it's always "you are wearing it because they want to record me! Take it off!" and that is the core issue. Glass can only record non stop for about 30min before the battery dies and the device becomes useless. And considering that the device in its least useful form is with a dead battery and will be a stupid block on your head and considering that there are far better wearable cameras (that are far more discrete), don't you think they would use that instead, if recording was the goal? Glass is a productivity unit, not a recording device and no one wants to record you.... END

     

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  81.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), May 3rd, 2014 @ 2:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "They have this incredibly stupid habit of behaving as if, simply because their vehicle is thin enough to fit between two lanes of traffic, that that is an acceptable behavior pattern."

    I absolutely detest lane-splitting. It's one of the few things on the road that make me genuinely angry. I understand this is specifically legal in California, but where I live it's not (fortunately).

     

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  82.  
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    JP Jones (profile), May 3rd, 2014 @ 8:22pm

    Re: Re: Cool Story Bro!

    Google glass has voice commands and a red light that turns on when it's recording. Technically I guess you could override these systems but, well, you can put a pinhole camera in just about anything and record everyone much more subtly (and cheaply) than Google glass.

    This is the same silly logic that has everyone paranoid about the "drone spying menace." Guess what? If someone wants to spy on you, than can do it with cheaper, more effective technology than drones or something like Google glass.

    Have you guys seen Google glass? It's not exactly a subtle system. Most areas with an expectation of privacy are probably going to ask people to take them off.

    I think the article is spot-on...people are overreacting. These posts are a case-in-point.

     

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  83.  
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    Hibby the Hoovy (profile), May 3rd, 2014 @ 10:46pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: CCTV

    Not all of those technologies are illegal. Apple has a patent on a technology called Blackout, which remotely disables cell phone cameras within a certain radius of it being deployed.

     

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  84.  
    identicon
    whatever, May 4th, 2014 @ 2:23am

    Re: Re: Re: Cool Story Bro!

    I love the logic - because there are other ways to spy on you, then this obvious way of spying on you is okay because it's obvious.

    Circular, self-supporting logic that fails at all levels.

    My guess is the first modification made to many Google glasses will be to paint over the red led so that it doesn't light up, resolving the issue - or figuring out how to turn it off in software and calling it a day.

    Doesn't matter how you slice it, if you walked around with a video camera on your shoulder all day, turned on, with a little "don't worry, I am not recording you now" sign on it, people would still freak out. It's the reason people are concerned about Google Glass.

     

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  85.  
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    JP Jones (profile), May 4th, 2014 @ 9:19am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Cool Story Bro!

    Ok, so let's play the logic game. You assume that people are going to massively "paint over" the LED and leave their glass in recording mode. This implies an intent to covertly record people.

    Guess what I can do? Put my cell phone in a breast pocket, cut a tiny hole where the camera is, and I can record you with the same or less effort than you just used on Google glass, with as much if not more subtlety. Yet for some reason you don't hear about a massive influx of "public spying" from those darn smart phone users.

    Why not? Well, first of all it's kind of creepy. Second few phones have the memory capacity or batterly life to sit in video mode recording uncompressed video and audio. Third, in order to get around the second point (you can't get around the first!), you need a way to activate the device, which is impossible to do without it being obvious.

    The cell phone in that simple, free (except for the tiny hole in a shirt) method is better at sneaky surveillance than the glass. It's less obvious that you have a recording device out, you're not reliant on two battery sources (the glass has negligible onboard memory so the video is all going to be saved to your phone anyway), and is a heck of a lot cheaper.

    People are concerned about Google glass because it's new and they don't understand what it can do yet, or the social implications of that power. And just like every other new, unusual innovation, we have a mandatory freak-out period where people try to say it's going to ruin life, liberty, and privacy because reasons.

    Just like the article says.

     

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  86.  
    icon
    OrganizedThoughtCrime (profile), May 5th, 2014 @ 12:28am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Cyclists have as much right to the road as automobiles."

    I strongly disagree, given the fact that cyclists aren't required to pay annual registration fees and obtain liability insurance for their vehicles like everyone else who uses public roads are. Additionally, unlike John Fenderson, where I live the rules are ridiculously lax regarding bicycling. It's so bad that bicyclists are even allowed to blow right through stop signs without regard for public safety, as well as routinely violating other rules and laws that everyone else has to follow. Where I live, bicyclists make everyone less safe because they expect preferential treatment. There is a town nearby that I literally refuse to drive in or through because of this.

    When cyclists are required to pay the same fees and follow the same rules as everyone else who uses public roads, then I'll agree that they have as much right. Until then, not a chance.

     

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  87.  
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    OrganizedThoughtCrime (profile), May 5th, 2014 @ 12:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Cool Story Bro!

    I think you're making a false comparison with the smartphone-in-a-breast-pocket thing. The same thing could be achieved more easily with a tiny camera in a button, for example. My point is that in either case the covert recording is just that, covert. With google glass the recording is right in everyone's face.

    I've heard of a lot of good use cases for such a device, but none of them required the camera, and I think that without the camera the reaction would be a lot different. At the very least, there ought to be a small sliding door over it, so people can clearly see that it's not in use. Getting around the LED, regardless of how, is beyond trivial. People are concerned about google glass because they do understand what it can do.

     

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  88.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2014 @ 12:51am

    Re: Re: Cool Story Bro!

    So, I take it that you're the person who created and designed google glass then, since you claim to know what it was and wasn't meant for?

     

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  89.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2014 @ 12:54am

    Re: Re:

    As of this posting, two wrongs still don't make a right. How is increasing the quantity of wrongs not worse?

     

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  90.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2014 @ 12:57am

    Re: Re:

    I'm not quite sure whether this comment qualifies for the report button, but it certainly is close if not.

     

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  91.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2014 @ 1:06am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Invalid comparison

    "until we have laws to forbid it and accountability to ensure it, private surveillance gathering is government surveillance gathering."

    Hammer, meet nail.

     

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  92.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2014 @ 1:07am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Cool Story Bro!

    I can think of a general case where a head mounted camera is useful, having an expert talk someone through some emergency procedure, and in particular medical emergencies, like using a defibrillator.

     

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  93.  
    identicon
    Christopher, May 5th, 2014 @ 1:08am

    So, uh, isn't it relevant that the people concerned about these earlier technologies were generally correct?

    Cameras do allow creepers to secretly take compromising photos, a problem which is still felt today so keenly that it's leading to new laws that have been reported on this very site.

    Portable music players do cut you off from the world, in a way that can be rude and even dangerous, if you're so oblivious you don't hear a car coming or someone shouting a warning or something.

    My theory about why these technologies caught on despite the incredibly correct perception that they would be abused by creeps and/or smuggos is that most people take this attitude:

    "I am mature enough to use these technologies responsibly. It's the witless pinheads I'm surrounded by who can't be trusted."

    Right? You can be trusted to carry your cellphone everywhere since you need it in case there's an emergency. It's only other people who torture their neighbors with loud, pointless conversations that go "I said I'm coming home... No, HOME. H-O-M-E... Can you hear me? Yeah, I'm coming home... No, HOME! Can you hear me? Hello?"

    If Google Glass catches on, my thinking is that whatever rudeness it causes people to engage in will slowly be reclassified as the new normal, the same way it has been with cell phones and portable music players.

     

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  94.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2014 @ 1:17am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Invalid comparison

    "Same with cell phones."

    Except that people don't wear their cell phones on their faces.

    "Same with glass."

    No, it's not the same, because there is no risk of exposure. One is already exposed, so something that used to be socially unacceptable (hence the willingness to risk exposure) is now being forced into acceptability. The idea that somehow that doesn't change anything is where a lot of these arguments hinge, I think. To say that it's all ok because of an LED that can be turned off many different ways, by many different people, is not what I would expect from someone who usually seems pretty intelligent.

     

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  95.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2014 @ 1:31am

    Re: Re: Invalid comparison

    "...than glass ever will be..."

    glass + ubiquity will end that in short order. When, say, half of the population is walking around wearing a glass-like device, clandestine photo taking and recording will then be much easier to hide.

     

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  96.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2014 @ 1:34am

    Re: Re: Invalid comparison

    If glass is not a recording device, then why does it have a camera?

    "You're not important enough to be recorded, get over it."

    You're not important enough to walk around everywhere with a recording device, get over it. That argument easily goes both directions.

     

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  97.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2014 @ 1:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: CCTV

    Very well said.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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