Computers - Software Hardware : Google Glass: Coming to a Lawsuit Near You


Well-Known Member
Apr 21, 2007


In a recent Saturday Night Live sketch, Fred Armisen pokes fun at the sometimes-awkward gestures required to interact with tech's shiny new plaything, Google Glass. Yes, there's a lot of unnatural head-jerking and bobbing. But, gestural comedy aside, Armisen says a line that's anchored in a Glass feature that privacy advocates don't find so funny:
"It's great because no one knows you're doing it."
Though Glass is only just starting to roll out to 2,000 developers, with more on the way, the resistance from privacy advocates and legislators is already underfoot, closely followed by inevitable, knee-jerk rulings.
The New York Times reports today the augmented reality headset has been preemptively banned by a Seattle dive bar. West Virginia legislators have attempted to make it illegal for drivers to sport Glass behind the wheel. Las Vegas casinos such as Caesars, which prohibits computers and recording devices, won't be welcoming Glass. And a White House petition requests the federal government ban Glass from the entire United States until we enforce stricter limitations on public surveillance. (As of this writing, the petition has 21 signatures.)
As the list of concerned protesters continues to grow, we began to wonder: Where will we be most likely to see this Glass resistance moving forward? We put together a short list, one we'll continue to flesh out as more examples crop up in the news:
Movie theaters and concert venues - It's interesting to consider what Glass could do for film piracy and that annoying guy in front of you who waved his phone snapping photos through an entire two-hours concert. But these are two of the most obvious examples of places that traditionally prohibit cameras.
Public schools - Or nurseries, or playgrounds. Really, anywhere with an influx of children is going to be a potential hotbed of legal headaches.
Behind the wheel - The West Virginia legislators' attempt to ban Glass while driving will inevitably gain favor within other states, which will likely include many of the country's 39 states and Washington, D.C., where texting while driving is prohibited.
Hospitals - Hospitals house boatloads of some of our most personal data, including medical records and insurance information. A stray paper or tilted clipboard could easily find its way into a Glass photo.
Banks and ATMs - Similar to the hospital example, it's not unfathomable to imagine a Glass-clad someone hovering a little too close to your left shoulder to peep a glance at (not to mention a photo of) your credit card.
Dressing rooms, locker rooms, and other rooms with people who are potentially naked - Think everywhere from department stores to your gym to strip clubs.
Yes, Glass was designed with particular safeguards in mind--having to face your subject directly to take a photograph or video of them is one; having to say, "Okay, Glass, take a picture" before you can start snapping is another. But developer-created apps such as Winky, a gesture-based app that lets you take a picture simply by winking, will almost certainly continue to compel more organizations and businesses to attempt to ban Glass.


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