Google Glass – the Creepy Intrusive Privacy Perspective

Google Glass is a cool concept. The thought of having a real-time augmented reality display brings interesting possibilities. In addition to possible courtroom use, take a look at 10 Compelling Ways People Plan To Use Google Glass, and 11 Kickass Ways Normal People Will Use Google Glass. Possibilities include surgery, education, gaming, and navigation.

One of the hurdles to adoption is the practical aspect of whether people will want to wear them. Especially those who have gone to great length and expense to not to have to wear glasses in the first place. And when having a conversation when using them, is your interaction with the glasses going to be unsettling to the person you are talking to? How long will it take before people who walk around with them won’t be looked on as being weird?

One aspect to ponder is the creepy intrusive privacy perspective, which is discussed in this article entitled Google Glass: Our Lives Are Not Reality TV which refers to this article entitled The Google Glass feature no one is talking about. The issue is that the more of these there are around, the more likely each one of us is going to be captured on the video they take whether we like it or not. We will have no idea when we are being recorded. And unlike security video which is kept locally for only short periods of time (at least that’s what is supposed to happen), that video could end up anywhere. What happens to all that video, especially if much of it gets stored back in a mothership somewhere? Who can get access to it? It conjures thoughts of surveillance states and surveillance societies where privacy is eroded even further.

So what do readers think? Is this issue being overstated? Is there something we can do about it? Are we headed to a place where we have and are incrementally losing every last bit of privacy?


  1. David Collier-Brown

    Some of the obvious questions that leap to mind are
    – is the material shared with Google private? public? privileged?
    – should Google be considered an agent for the people with glasses, and be required to protect their privacy?
    – can anyone with glasses be named in a Norwich order and be forced to cough up their records of third parties?
    – can anyone with glasses have the recordings seized if they observed
    anything of interest to the police?
    – can recordings from your washroom or bedroom be seized?

    In short, what is the role of privacy when your entire life is lived in a panopticon?


  2. David Collier-Brown

    The technical discussion continues at

    A hint: set the little slider to show about “5 full”: the responses are scored by the community, and the low-valued ones can be startlingly unhelpful (:-))