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Are Google’s glasses a threat to your privacy?

May 23, 2013

By Jeremy Quattlebaum, Student Voices staff writer

When Google announced its new product, the Google Glass, tech lovers drooled over its functions, including the camera that can record almost everything that the wearer sees and post it to the Internet for the world to see.

The company talked about how the tiny camera could document your day, recording the free fall before the parachute opens or the walk down the aisle at a wedding, but it seemed to be silent when privacy concerns were raised.

The camera can be activated with a little tweaking and a wink, so someone is able to snap a photo or record an incident without anyone noticing. Tech writers have brought this up, claiming that what sets the Glass apart from say cell phones is that there isn’t the recognition that a recording is occurring, like when someone holds up a cell phone.

Glass has yet to hit the shelves, with only a couple thousand in circulation for testing, yet Caesar’s Casino in Las Vegas and a bar in Seattle have explicitly banned it. Nevada gaming laws prohibit the use of computers and recording devices when gambling, so Glass would not be welcome in other casinos.

“This is just the beginning,” said Timothy Toohey, a Los Angeles lawyer specializing in privacy issues in a New York Times interview. “Google Glass is going to cause quite a brawl.”

Glass is arriving at a time when the courts, politicians and society as a whole have begun to question the role of technology in our everyday lives and what constitutes private and what is public.

“We are all now going to be both the paparazzi and the paparazzi’s target,” Karen L. Stevenson, a lawyer with Buchalter Nemer in Los Angeles, told the New York Times.

The success of Glass will determine if places start to ban them, but the question can be raised about not just Glass but all forms of recording technology that seems prevalent: What is private and what is public and shareable at this point?

In many states, it is illegal to record individuals without their permission, but the damage of posting a cell phone photo or video can occur before the victim has even become aware of it.

Imagine having a fellow student come into class with a pair of Glass. Would the possibility of student recording without anyone knowing be a disruption to the education process?

So how does society protect the privacy of individuals from being infringed on by other individuals? As mentioned before, most states have anti-spying laws, but the punishment for videotaping someone without consent is often minimal and unenforced unless it becomes a major scandal.

What do you think?

Do you think Google Glass could infringe on your right to privacy? How should businesses handle products like Glass if they wish to protect their customers’ privacy? Should they be allowed in school? How does a society balance the ever-present and increasingly sophisticated technology with protecting an individual’s privacy? Join the discussion and let us know what you think!
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Comments
12/5/2016
Magnolia TX
Dalton
Metzger, Magnolia West High School
In my opinion, the google glasses do invade people's personal privacy. For instance, they may have certain search engines that track everything you look up. So let’s say you look up a page for any personal reason, the glasses will watch and record everything you are looking at and typing as it's connected to your google drive. So yes, everything you do in your personal life, will be shown and may be uploaded to everyone all over the world. So in conclusion, yes the glasses do invade people's personal privacy via google glasses.

3/16/2016
Stroudsburg PA
Miguel
Mr.Hanna Stroudsburg sjhs
I believe that Google Glass can either be good if the intentions behind the use of it was good or it could be a major invasion of privacy if the use of it was intended for that purpose. I think this piece of advanced technology could be very helpful in recording life's blissful moments such as a wedding or a crime occurring in the moment. With technology like this citizens would be more eligible to record a disturbance to help important institutions like schools and police stations. However I do think that it can sort of have a bad effect on many lives because if someone were to record an occurrence without a person's consent who happened to be in the video, it can badly scar the individuals life. Other types of problem Google Glass could cause would be if someone who owned the glasses were to take them into a private are such as public restrooms, locker rooms, or casinos and record/take a picture of someone and posting it onto social media. Not to mention if that somebody was a student at school and used the glasses as a way to torment a fellow student then the bullying rate and suicide attempts and follow throughs would surely reach sky high. The advance of this technology is surely impressive and could be a great sale if it were used properly and not put into irresponsible teenagers' hands. I think businesses should handle products like Glass if they wish to protect the customers' privacy by only selling items like these to people over the age of 18, who should be able to be more responsible with things like these. Even then though, some immature adults may still use it for bad purposes so you can't really trust many people with it.

12/11/2015
Diamond Bar/CA
KarenP1
Wong/Lorbeer
I believe that Google Glass can either be good if the intentions behind the use of it was good or it could be a major invasion of privacy if the use of it was intended for that purpose. I think this piece of advanced technology could be very helpful in recording life's blissful moments such as a wedding or a crime occurring in the moment. With technology like this citizens would be more eligible to record a disturbance to help important institutions like schools and police stations. However I do think that it can sort of have a bad effect on many lives because if someone were to record an occurrence without a person's consent who happened to be in the video, it can badly scar the individuals life. Other types of problem Google Glass could cause would be if someone who owned the glasses were to take them into a private are such as public restrooms, locker rooms, or casinos and record/take a picture of someone and posting it onto social media. Not to mention if that somebody was a student at school and used the glasses as a way to torment a fellow student then the bullying rate and suicide attempts and follow throughs would surely reach sky high. The advance of this technology is surely impressive and could be a great sale if it were used properly and not put into irresponsible teenagers' hands. I think businesses should handle products like Glass if they wish to protect the customers' privacy by only selling items like these to people over the age of 18, who should be able to be more responsible with things like these. Even then though, some immature adults may still use it for bad purposes so you can't really trust many people with it.

12/10/2015
Diamond Bar, CA
Natalie Sicairos P5
Wong/Lorbeer
I believe that Google's newest glasses is a very unique and advanced piece of technology. Even though Google's glasses are an advanced piece of technology there can be many pros and cons. I can go on and on about all the pros on these new glasses but I am only going to list a few. One pro can be when someone is walking by or experiencing a crime or act of violence they can record it and turn it in for evidence. This will defend or go against the person and the evidence will be easier to determine if the person is guilty or not. The glasses will also be easier to capture a moment when you want to take a picture because sometimes our phone doesn't get the same view as our eyes do so with the glasses it will be easier. Although I only listed a few pros I can also go on and on about cons. One con can be that the glasses are being used to bully. One day a kid can accidentally snap a picture and think that it is a bit funny and send it to someone else. Then that someone else could send it to another person who can possibly post the picture online to humiliate the person who's picture was taken. When that child goes back to school everyone will see the picture and make fun of the child. Although this was all caused by accident if those glasses can snap a picture like that imagine what other pictures it can take and how many problems it will cause. Therefore I believe that Google's glasses should be banned to protect individual's privacy.

11/30/2015
Diamond Bar/CA
AmaraP5
Wong/Lorbeer
Google’s newest glasses can do many things and is a very advanced piece of technology. It definitely has its ups and downs. However there are some pros to these Google glasses. One pro is that someone could be recording and a crime happens. You can then later on refer to the video and make it easier to solve what had happened. Also it would reduce the number of crimes that will occur because thieves or bad guys will watch out for these cameras. Some downs are that it’s a huge invasion of one’s privacy. One of the things these Google glasses can do is record. With the wink of an eye you can snap a photo and record anything you see without anyone knowing, and there is no way of knowing if you’re being recorded by with Google glasses. There are no boundaries with people who have these glasses. Many people act differently when they know they are on camera, and people will feel much violated if the picture or video is unflattering to that person. Society helps keep people’s privacy because in several states recording someone without their knowledge and permission is illegal, and with these glasses you are free to do that without anyone noticing. Businesses should handle products like these Google glasses by maybe having a bright red light shine out the lens so it lets people know that a person is recording, or just take out the camera function in this Google product. This Google product should most definitely not be allowed at school because it would distract students from learning. They might start passing it around to one another so their friends can record someone and it would be very disruptive for the teachers and the other students who are trying to learn. Not to mention if people are just walking down the streets so focused on these glasses trying to record, they could possibly bump into people, poles, walk on to the street or even worse use these glasses while they are driving. In the end because of all these cons I agree that this Google product is an invasion o

10/4/2015
indiana
zach
north madison
google glass is awesome and google has made it so that you can tell when somebody is recording you or taking a picture of you by making the screen glow when it is in use and by making them have to speak or tap something to activate it.

2/12/2015
Westside CA
Angel Arreola
Jabro Creekside
I completely agree that this new technology could invade most peoples personal privacy. I meant not the technology itself, just the user. Yeah you would realize how bad this new invention could get. Especially with the FBI and CIA trying to bumb up their security because they cant handle it doesn't mean they have to tap peoples view, phone calls, emails, or ANYTHING. NO MATTER WHAT THE GOVERNMANT SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO SECRETLY WITHOUT YOUR PERMISSION LOOK THROUGH YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION.

11/14/2014
Stroudsburg PA
Justin.R
Mr.Hanna/Stroudsburg JHS
I don't think that Google Glass could infringe on your privacy rights because even though it's less Obvious when a video is being taken you can also take a video on your phone and people would see that too. If some people dislike it then there should be certain zones in a town or certain buildings were Google glass isn't allowed. I'm reality technology is taking over the world so everyone needs to compromise and work things out so everything works out. Overall I feel Google Glass is a good thing a crime could be caught on tape and it's not an awful thing at all.

11/13/2014
Stroudsburg
Bartek
Hanna/Stroudsburg JHS
Google Glass is a very helpful peace of technology. It can be used in good ways or as well in bad ways. It is meant to use for people who wants to make their life easier. But eventually there are people out there who use it to bully and embarrass other people. I think that it shouldn't be allowed in schools because of the bullies. It is not a bad thing to have if you use it properly.

11/13/2014
Stroudsburg, PA
Emilio
Mr. Hannah/ Stroudsburg JHS
The Google Glass could be bad in many ways. For example, one can record a fight and post it on YouTube titling it, "Mental kid gets punched" or something like that. And people won't even know because with the Google Glass, you can record without anyone seeing you. Talk about mean! Plus, if you are in a casino, gambling, you CANNOT record it. There are many bullies who embarrass people and sometimes it gets recorded. This could be a problem in schools, especially in those who have a great amount of bullies in it. Google glass could be threatening.

5/7/2014
MT
Delainey
Mrs. Campbell/North Star
Google glasses are an amazingly advanced piece of technology. They allow you to be able to capture important moments without having to hold a video camera or phone. However, this means that you could record anything at any time, unbeknownst to the people around you. By just tweaking with the glasses or even winking, the camera will record or snap a picture. There is no indication of when the recording or picture taking is occurring, so this can obviously prove to be an invasion of privacy. What if you're in a public restroom or in a locker room? What if someone owning these was stalking you and either keeping this footage to themselves, or even posting it publicly online? If students had access to these, the bullying rate could skyrocket. Recording kids being themselves or being silly/stupid and having the glass wearer posting it online could emotionally damage the kid who got recorded. These glasses could be an amazing breakthrough if used properly, but if not, they can found quite problematic to society.

12/12/2013
Virginia
Jessica
Ms. Bailey/MHS
The Google Glass thing is going to bring up a lot of fuss with just a wink you can take a picture of anyone. I think that it should not be allowed in schools considering bullying and other things going on in the school place it is not going to help the situation any better and a lot of fights can be started this way too, all someone has to do is put them on and look at someone and either wink or do any kind of tweaking movement in their face and people will just go off. There is a lot you can do to invade someone's privacy with these glasses. I don't think the glasses should be able to be bought.

9/27/2013
Watertown/MA
Lauren
rimas/watertown high school
Google glasses will be a major privacy issue, especially among teenagers. It will be a bullying issue because bullies will be able to capture pictures/videos of classmates without their knowledge. They can then post these online without consent from the person in the video. This violates people's rights and should not be allowed.

9/27/2013
watertown Ma
Luke L.
Rimas WatertownHighSchool
Google glasses can be both bad and good. The good is its advances in modern technology, the bad news is that its invading your privacy

9/27/2013
Watertown, Ma
Kelly
Rimas
Google glasses are a threat to our privacy. Having google glasses is basically like living in a big brother state, anyone can be filmed at any time without their knowledge or consent. Google glasses should not be allowed in schools as it would be distracting to the student body and the person wearing them, if a person was wearing the glasses, teachers wouldn't be able to tell if they were paying attention or not. Google glasses should only be worn in a business setting when assigned by said business, that way people can not run around spying on citizens.

9/27/2013
Watertown, MA
Jess L.
Rimas/WatertertownHighScool
Google Glass is a major technological advancement that has its pros and cons. The new glasses could capture images or videos of important events. Depending on the situation, this could help or harm people. In situations where witnesses have to testify or describe a suspect, Glass gives law enforcement images of the suspect or videos of the scene of the crime. Something like this is very helpful and could even decrease the number of crimes if people know they will be caught on camera. Some cons involve privacy and and it could also be dangerous. Driving with these glasses could cause distractions for drivers making the roads much more dangerous than they already are. Another major issue is the fact that people don't know when they are being recorded which is very concerning and violating their privacy.

9/27/2013
Watertown, MA
Jess L.
Rimas/WatertertownHighScool
Google Glass is a major technological advancement that has its pros and cons. The new glasses could capture images or videos of important events. Depending on the situation, this could help or harm people. In situations where witnesses have to testify or describe a suspect, Glass gives law enforcement images of the suspect or videos of the scene of the crime. Something like this is very helpful and could even decrease the number of crimes if people know they will be caught on camera. Some cons involve privacy and and it could also be dangerous. Driving with these glasses could cause distractions for drivers making the roads much more dangerous than they already are. Another major issue is the fact that people don't know when they are being recorded which is very concerning and violating their privacy.

9/27/2013
Watertown/ MA
Brandon
Mr.Rimas/Watertown High School
In the world we live in today, social media and technology are evolving very quickly. Social media has become a big part of how we view the world and be a part of it. With Google announcing the new Google Glass it has brought controversy on privacy. With everyone tweeting, vining, and posting on Facebook every minute you would think of how Google Glass would come into play. With Google Glass you are able to take pictures and videos of people without there acknowledgement. If you were in the restroom would you not feel uncomfortable with someone in there with Google Glass? While Google Glass may be fun to have and being able to show everyone the world through your eyes, it may also cause many people to feel uncomfortable. Many people do not act the same while on camera, so with Google Glass many people you know may change there persona around you when you have Google Glass on. In conclusion the world may change with this new device being released.

9/27/2013
MA
Anet
Rimas
When people are given more freedoms especially when it comes to technology people always over due things, and ruin them for others. The new google glasses are a great idea but i do think that they might be a threat to your privacy, if they get into the wrong hands.

9/27/2013
watertown, ma
Alex
rimas/WHS
Yes. I think that the new Google glasses are a threat to privacy. It is one thing to video tape someone without their permission, but the ability to video tape people/events as discreetly as Google glasses allow you too is overstepping certain boundaries. Especially in the case that Google glasses become viral and everyone begins ordering them. The country will then have no privacy whatsoever, everyone will partake in a constant surveillance of their peers. Although, the new glasses will be a benefit in that more cases will be solved and disputes settled, it will not allow any room for question or personal privacy. Privacy must be maintained or order can not be obtained.

9/25/2013
Watertowm/MA
Laura
Rimas/Watertown High School
I believe that Google Glasses can be a very big threat depending on the time and place that they are used.

9/25/2013
Watertown/Mass
Alistair
Rimas/ Watertown High School
The time of James Bond and superspys has come into being! Privacy is now apparently a luxury of the past! The ability to surf the internet with a wink and a computer screen in your eye is astounding, but it could constitute with children watching porn in class or taking horrendous photos. There must be limits set.

9/25/2013
Watertown/Massachusetts
Andy
Rimas/Watertown High School
While google glasses could infringe upon one's privacy, think about all of the positive things that could come from it. People witnessing crimes, now can recall all of the facts about said crime. The brain's memory is often blurred, especially when it is traumatized, such as witnessing a murder. So I think that while it would be infringing on privacy, you'd have to look at many other factors, rather than just one.

9/25/2013
Boston/Massachusetts
Anthony
Mr.Rimas/Watertown High School
It is indeed a threat to other individuals privacy. I can't tell if your recording or taking a picture of me. And I'm sick and tired of everyone walking around like a stupid monkey completely taken with his new termite eating stick. Everybody enjoy your lives, appreciate the natural beauty of life, and throw away these toys, its the only one you'll ever get! aka YOLO

9/25/2013
Watertown Ma
Nick Soares
Rimas Watertown high school
Yes google glasses is a threat to people's privacy but the glasses can be helpful for emergencies in school or anywhere because that person has proof of what happen.

9/25/2013
Watertown
Greg
Rimas/ Watertown High school
These glasses are both beneficial and could cause a problem for society. For learning purposes it can be great for students because they can record what is being taught and watch it over again. Although in public it may cause a problem depending on the user. In a society today we live where a picture can go viral in a matter of seconds and anybody can judge it. Privacy will matter to who is against or for it.

9/25/2013
Watertown,MA
James
Rimas
yes Google Glasses do threat your privacy because people could take a picture of am embrassment photo

9/20/2013
Sidney/MT
Ethan
Mr. Faulhaber/Sidney High
Google Glass is the same new product of the time. Just like when camera phones came out, it's just a new product with new features. Google Glasses are just a combination of basically everything we use for the day. If it comes down to a privacy issue, misuse can result in Google shutting the system down for that person or having it confiscated. There are plenty of ways that invasion of privacy can be prevented with it. It just comes down to what people demand, That being said, it is no invasion of privacy when steps are taken to keep it what way.

9/6/2013
Belleville New York
Quinn
Colby/BHCS
I belive that the Google Glass is going to be just like every other smart phone or tablet sure you can snap a picture or start record without the delay of taking out your device but there won't be differance because people can do that now as well maybe just not as quick as the Google Glass product can. So in conclusion I really don't think it is any more of invasion of privacy than owning a smart phone of a device of the sort.

6/3/2013
Irving Tx
Ebony
Austin Jesa
The problem with Google glasses is that anyone with these glasses can record/ snap a picture and the person being recorded or having their picture taken does not know. This could cause huge problems in the long run because it definitely is a threat to one's privacy. At the same time, it depends on the person. The Google Glasses are just as bad as any of the other technology that is out these days (smartphones, laptops..etc.). Anyone can hack into a laptop and start recording from there without the person knowing, and anyone can record on a smartphone without anyone knowing too. If people think that it really is a threat to someone's privacy, then they should definitely ban it.

5/30/2013
Irving Tx
Alexia
Austin JESA
I believe that Google Glass being a threat to ones privacy depends on the individual who is using it. Google glass is very similar to a phone, except you wear the glasses. Although the glasses have not yet hit the market people have already began to discuss the issues that it will cause. Now with the glasses it will be easier to hid the real intention of what they are doing, glasses are common and google glasses will most likely not look any different. I believe that the user is the one that will determine if Google Glasses are a threat or not.

5/29/2013
Irving, TX
Anahy Lopez
Austin JESA
Considering Google glasses a threat to ones privacy, depends on the individual. It is the same as recording with a phone or camera, but just more camouflaged. Now a days no one ever knows when they are being recorder. Even though these glasses are not on the market people think it will cause a brawl. If businesses want to protect the privacy of there customers, they can ban the glasses. But no one ever knows when someone has recorded them, because the person will most likely not ask for permission. Asking for permission is the ethical thing to do, but with these new glasses no one will. There has been places like the casinos who have already banned them. I feel that Google glasses isn't a threat to my privacy, but that is just my opinion. It all depends on the perspective of others.

5/29/2013
Irving/TX
Perla Mejia
Austin/Singley Academy
I think the only problem is that people don't know when they're being recorded. That means pictures or videos of them can be available to others without their consent and that can cause problems once that individual actually finds their pictures. Glass just seems like another piece of recording technology, like a phone or camera, so they should be treated as such. There are places where laptops and phone are appropriate and places where they're not, so the same can be applied to Glass. They can put bans on where or when they can be used (during school or casinos in Nevada) and even limit how many are available to the public.

5/29/2013
Irving/TX
Kelly
Bradley/Nimitz
Yes the Google Glass is an invasion of privacy and anyone could hack it and snap a photo of you. However, thy can do that with any webcam or internet website, not just Google Glass. If they're concerned about people's privacy then the person themself can decide whether or not they want to take that risk.

5/29/2013
Irving/Texas
Rubab Raza
Mr Austin/Jack E Singley Academy
The Google Glass invades anyone's personal privacy just as any regular smart phone would. Everyday thousands of people are regularly recorded on phones and security cameras. The Google Glass is just like a smartphone albeit more compact. If people really fear their privacy is being invaded they should just ban it, along with smartphones.

5/28/2013
Irving/Texas
Osvaldo Mata
Mr. Austin/Jack E. Singley Academy
I don't think that Google glass would not infringe on my right of privacy because in general it would come out to be the same as people recording with phones. I mean sure it's a little bit easier to hide that someone is recording with Google Glass, but it can be just as easy to hide recording with a phone like pretending to text. If a company wants to protect their customers' privacy, they should ban the Google Glass frm the area. For example, banning Google Glass in Las Vegas would be acceptable because it would be treated like having a phone or calculator out. Google glass should not be allowed in school because they could be used a as a calculator and would be distracting to the environment of learning. People at my school already take time away from learning by talking about Google Glass and it isn't even out yet. In protecting an individual's privacy, society would balance the increasingly sophisticated technology with certain boundaries enacted by it, or putting it under a category like phones where it would be treated as such.

5/28/2013
Irving, TX
Francisco Martinez
Mr. Austin / Jack E. Singley Academy
I believe that Google Glasses is a piece of technology that is standing on the edge of innovation and privacy. Saying this, Glass should be limited on its capability. They should not be allowed in schools or be apart of a business without it being a requirement. Glass is an innovation to a phone. It should be treated as such. It has always happened. From phones to computers. Everything has a proper place to be used.

5/28/2013
Irving
Natalie
Mr.Austin/JESA
Google's glasses are a great innovation to technology but it is a complete invasion of privacy. There is no telling what can be uploaded to the internet and there are no boundaries. The fact that it is available to any consumer is alarming. There should be boundaries set to where and who people are recording. The Glass should be prohibited in certain stores, restaurants, and ect. The Glass should not be allowed in schools do to safety reasons and the welfare of students.

5/28/2013
Irving, TX
Ernesto Reyes
Austin JESA
This is a violation of privacy. If someone is unaware that they are being recorded or being taken a picture of they might feel as if they have been violated if the picture is unflattering. If someone is being recorded in some states they will be violating the law. There for in general these glasses would a direct violation of privacy.

5/28/2013
Irving
Kellie cubias
Austin / Jack E Singley Academy
Google glass is a modern technology that can capture amazing moments in life, however it can violate individuals privacy. The fact that google glass does not give a recognition when recording, will be difficult for companies to know or ban the device. Google Glass can infringe people's privacy, especially at a work place.

5/28/2013
Irving/TX
Isaiah
Austin/Academy
This could be a violation of privacy, i do not believe company's should play such a large role in peoples lives.

5/28/2013
Irving , Texas
Mekha
Mr.Austin, JESA
Google Glass could and most likely will be able to invade my right to privacy. The highly developed product which has the ability to go basically camouflaged will let others spy and take pictures/videos with out my consent. Businesses can handle this product by banning it and developing a sign that has the consequences stated on it. They should also have a scanner or detector that can detect when a person is wearing them as they cross the doorway. I do not think Google Glass should be allowed in school unless it is permitted by the teacher and has the approval of the administrators including the superintendent of the district. Due to the sky rocketing career of technology, it might be impossible to completely protect any individual's privacy but there can be restrictions placed. The government can maybe create a law with certain restrictions on the use of technology which may be a threat to individual's privacy. With the help of the government , there can be some control over these gadgets that are being developed rapidly.

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