Volume 4, Number 13 - April 8, 2014

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Jonel Juste
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Google Glass: The New Anti-Privacy Tool

By Jonel Juste

Thanks to wearable technology like Google Glass, it is now easier to spy on each other, to record people’s business without their consent and spread it all across the Internet or national television. 

Similar to what astronaut Neil Armstrong would say, this is one small step for man and a giant leap for spying, privacy invasion, and even pornography.

Seriously, what is the point of recording and collecting data, pictures, videos and sounds everywhere?

We were afraid of the NSA for potentially having access to our emails, Facebook, Twitter or Google accounts yet miss the fact that soon there will be worse than the NSA: the guy next-door wearing a pair of spying glasses, colloquially referred to as “Glassholes” or “Cyborgs.” 

Notice that Google Glass is not even out yet, it is just being tested through Google’s Glass Explorer Program, which offers individuals the chance to “experiment” with the new gadget for $1,500. State and federal lawmakers have already expressed privacy concerns related to the technology, which has sparked controversies and caused many incidents.

Last October in San Diego, a woman who was pulled over for speeding was also ticketed for wearing Google Glass while driving. 

In Seattle earlier this year, an entrepreneur preemptively prohibited people from wearing Glass at his restaurant. 

A group called “Stop The Cyborgs” has released a list of bars that are banning Google Glass. The group also offers free anti-glass icons for businesses that want to notify customers that the technology is not allowed. 

Moreover, many casinos have banned wearable technology, fearing it could be used to cheat or count cards. Some theaters worrying about piracy have also added Google Glass to the list of their banned recording devices. 

The latest incident happened on February 22 at a bar in San Francisco, where a young woman attempted to film the patrons with her wearable computer. The customers, who were not very happy, shoved her and aggressively tried to take down her spying device. After the incident, the bar prohibited Google Glass. Later on, those people’s faces appeared un-blurred on national TV.  

Although it does not involve Google Glass, recently a scandal regarding privacy occurred in France that is worth mentioning.

A former adviser to ex-French president Nicolas Sarkozy leaked some recordings he secretly taped with a handheld recorder while Sarkozy was in power. He divulged some private conversations between Sarkozy and his wife, former French Lady Carla Bruni. He also disclosed some unofficial conversations in which Sarkozy was talking negatively about some of his friends.

Can you imagine someone entering your home and recording everything you do and say, and putting it out there for everyone to see or hear? 

With wearable spying technology, people may be reluctant to even crack a joke with “friends,” fearing that their words and gestures may be screened on YouTube or on TV.

Since when have our private lives become a reality TV show? Is it the end of privacy?

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