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Top Security and Privacy Issues That Will be Created by Google Glass

Posted In Security, Technology devices, Technology Reviews - By Techtiplib on Friday, February 7th, 2014 With No Comments »

Google Glass is a device that has seen a lot of buzz in the build-up to its launch. It’s one of the most advanced examples of wearable technology and of augmented reality that will give you constant and hands-free access to any data you could need, and that could well shape the future trajectory of technology and gadgets.

Essentially what it is a pair of glasses with a small ‘box’ in the corner that displays a tiny monitor. That tiny monitor looks a lot bigger at this proximity, and this then means that you can be updated with all kinds of information as you walk around. Throw in voice commands, a touch sensor on the side and a camera and you have all kinds of exciting applications.

issues that Google Glass could create with regards to security and personal privacy

But likewise, you also have a number of worrying security and privacy issues…

The Camera

Perhaps the most glaring problem that Google Glass presents, is that it gives users a camera in their face that they can use to record people without them realizing. That means that someone could be recording your conversation, or even stealing your intellectual property without you realizing.

This was recently an issue when one user (who had the limited ‘Explorer Edition’ of the glasses that was released early) walked into a cinema wearing the glasses. After a while the glasses were confiscated by security who were worried that the user was trying to film the movie for piracy.

This of course is a real concern for cinemas and film makers. In a time when everyone might one day be wearing hidden devices capable of recording, how could they possibly keep the films from being videoed? Should they start strip-searching movie-goers at the door?

It also presents another issue: eventually security lets that individual has their phone back, but only after they had searched through all of their data to make sure that there was nothing on there that would constitute piracy. In order to protect their business, they were forced to invade a customer’s privacy. Hardly fair.

And what about when someone where’s their Google Glass into the toilets? Will you feel comfortable with someone in the urinal next to you wearing a camera on their head?

The Apps

Scarier than the camera itself is what can be done with it when combined with other information. Take for instance an app called ‘NameTag’. This is an incredibly smart app from the developer community that works by letting you take a photo of someone, and then using video analysis to identify that person based on publicly available information.

In other words, it will take a photo, scan that photo, then look for that person on the web – bringing up information from Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and online dating. This is an incredibly useful app when you think it could eliminate the embarrassing situation of approaching someone to ask out only to find that they’re already in a relationship… but at the same time the potential privacy issues are huge. So much so that Google aren’t publishing the app through their own store because they think it’s ‘creepy’.


More worrying is what this technology could be capable of in the wrong hands. People hack into computers all the time and listen out for your keystrokes in order to work out your passwords and other personal information – scary. But that would be potentially a lot worse if someone hacked into your Google Glass at which point they would be able to see everything you were seeing, turn on the camera, listen to your conversations and more. Imagine your Google Glass turning itself on your bed stand and then recording you in your room. It sounds silly – but it’s potentially possible if you install the wrong app.

Google Glass is just one example of a technology that will raise such issues. In the future, even your home security camera systems will be much more powerful and will raise some very serious questions…

Author Bio:

The author of this article, Nancy Baker, is a self proclaimed internet aficionado and freelance blogger. She is currently writing for EYEONET surveillance systems, which specializes in IP access control systems. You can also follow her on Twitter @Nancy Baker.

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