Google Glass elicits privacy questions from Congress

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googleglass1Many Congressman were enthusiastic following their sneak preview of Google Glass, but others expressed grave misgivings concerning the issue of personal space and privacy rights. These legislators are asking Google some serious questions.

Earlier this week, Google representatives held Google Glass demonstrations at the beginning and the end of meetings of a privacy caucus, allowing Congressional members to try on the much anticipated devices.

The glasses come with cameras in them. This has prompted the sending of a list of questions asking about the implications to the public’s expectation of privacy. The letter was delivered to Google CEO and co-founder Larry Page, and comes from Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) and seven other members of the Congressional Bi-Partisan Privacy Caucus.

“As members of the Congressional Bi-Partisan Privacy Caucus, we are curious whether this new technology could infringe on the privacy of average Americans,” begins the letter. “Because Google Glass has not yet been released and we are uncertain of Google’s plans to incorporate privacy protections into the device, there are still a number of answered questions that we share.”googleglass4

The message contains eight questions. To begin, the internet giant’s previous proclivity for not taking their client’s privacy rights into consideration is addressed. The tome mentions that in 2010 Google didn’t ask for permission, but had gathered information from users over wireless networks. “…we would like to know how Google plans to prevent Glass from unintentionally collecting data about the user / non-user without consent?”

Further queries concern Glass’ built-in camera and its processing abilities. The lawmakers ask,”When using Google Glass, is it true that this product would be able to use Facial Recognition Technology to unveil personal information about whomever and even inanimate objects that the user is viewing?”

The privacy caucus has asked Google to officially respond to the letter by Friday, June 14, 2013.

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