When cameras first came about there was a bit of a moral panic around them. People feared being photographed at all and so there were various concerns raised, moral panics followed, and even an occasional proposed law about how cameras could be used. It would appear that we may be approaching a similar moral panic around the coming launch of Google Glass. There's been a growing buzz about "privacy" concerns
around Google Glass -- one that has even led former Homeland Security boss Michael Chertoff to worry about the implications
, and suggest Congress and the FTC take a look. A publicity campaign called "Stop the Cyborgs" (seriously guys?) has sprung up offering Google Glass Ban Signs
for places that want to ban the as-yet-unreleased technology. And, most recently, someone put together a White House petition urging the White House to ban the devices
until "limitations on public surveillance" can be put in place. Not that the White House has that kind of authority, of course.
The whole thing seems to be screaming moral panic around a new technology, which still might not even catch on. Of course, even if Glass doesn't catch on, this is how technology works, and sooner or later, someone will get this kind of product right, such that eventually it won't even look odd like Glass, but will just fit into a contact lens or be directly embedded. That's just how this stuff is likely to go. People can freak out about it all they want and demand that there be a law, but most people recognize that the technology is coming one way or the other, and that's not going to change or go away. The right thing to do is figure out how to deal with it, rather than looking for ways to stop it. Though, just wait until someone at the MPAA wakes up and realizes that with Glass, someone will be able to record a movie...