The Brave New World of Google Glass
If you have watched this video then admit it, it’s probably one of the greatest things you have seen this year. You can’t wait to get your hands on it, to tell your friends about it, to throw all your money into it because my god, doesn’t it seem just so cool? But technology is a double-edged sword and this time the dark side is much sharper than we could ever anticipate.
What Is The Google Glass?
Google Glass, if you haven’t already realized from the video, is essentially a compact computer installed directly on your face. In the form of eyewear, the glass, with built-in camera, battery, motion sensors, a wireless connection to reach the Internet, together with other electronics, will have the capability to call, film, take pictures and execute various other tasks that you can usually do on a laptop or a smartphone. This smart glass concept is a pet project of Google’s co-founder Sergey Brin, and ever since its existence was made public through Google’s clever marketing schemes, it has become the new It-thing in the tech community. It is expected to arrive this year with a whooping $1500 price tag. Most of the conversations surrounding the glass is pertained to the territory of “I wonder if the design’s gonna be cool enough for me to wear outside.” But what is wrong with this picture?
A pair of glasses that can be worn by anyone and can record anything anytime? Now do you see what’s wrong?
A Brave New World
No one got a Minority Report vibe?
Imagine this. You’re on a date, and your date is wearing a Google Glass. And while you’re talking, that person is secretly filming you and putting the video on the internet for the world to see. Not terrified yet? Let’s go further.
You’re drunk out of your mind in a bar. It’s college. You just finished your last finals. You want to have fun. Debauchery ensues. Someone who wears the Google Glass records every nasty and terrible deeds you did that night without your knowledge. Everything is recorded, uploaded and stored permanently on the web. Five years later, during your job interview, your prospective employer pulled up that video on his Google Glass while talking you. Not terrified yet? Let’s go further.
A stalker on the prowl for a victim. He gets on a bus with you on it and records everyone inside. And out of all the people on the bus that day. He picks you. He then proceeds to follow you home and records your every moves without you even knowing it. Not terrified yet? Let’s go further.
A terrorist is planning a bomb at an airport. He visits the place, records every single details of the airports with his Google Glass, even the security badges and employees’ face. With the footage at hand, he can now use it figure out a scheme to execute his plan.
The age of privacy is dead.
With the Google Glass, anyone can record every little aspect of their lives, which will include the lives of others as well. Not only does this infringes on the freedom of others, it poses a serious threats to personal security when you just can’t ever know for sure if you are being secretly recorded or not.
To make this story a perfect horror movie, Google is currently working on a facial recognition and speech-to-text transcription program that can translate what is being said in a video to words. So anything you say can be recorded with the Google Glass, stored under your name within Google’s search index without you knowing it. Just think about that for a second.
We can’t dispute the usefulness that the Google Glass can bring, but we can’t also ignore that much needed conversation of privacy when it comes to a technology such as this. To put this in perspective, here is a video of an anonymous man who went around Seattle, Washington and filmed people without their consent. Imagine yourself being in the intruded’s place. Imagine being filmed without your knowledge.
Are you ready for the real 1984?