A couple weeks ago in my Citizen Media and the Public Sphere class we discussed the idea of Google Glasses and just how cool they could be. However, as communication studies students we were also asked to dissect the drawbacks of the glasses. We agreed that they would be handy in many ways, like keeping your hands free, looking up more often, and allowing for instant communication with whomever you want and documentation of whatever you want. Despite these benefits, we found that there would be drawbacks as well, such as shaky first person videotaping, never being able to tell if one had a person’s full attention, and constant interruption of one’s daily life by being bombarded with new information and advertising.
What strikes me as an issue is that we failed to mention the real problem with these glasses, and that it wasn’t until this week, when our professor showed us an article by SocProf that discusses the real threat they pose, that we realized these glasses would inevitably remove any form of privacy citizens have.
Now, I am not sure whether anyone thought of it and just didn’t mention it, or if we were focusing too much on the hardware of the glasses and not their full capabilities, but I am concerned that we are becoming too accustomed to our private lives being flashed all over the web-o-sphere; essentially, the effect of technologies being so well integrated into workplaces and social spheres is such that the issue of privacy is no longer one that we take into consideration when thinking about new technology.
SocProf made it clear that Google Glass is the end of our privacy, and that the Orwelian idea of Big Brother is becoming a real threat. The only difference, here, is that it’s not the government keeping tabs on us, but other people! Google Glass is making it possible for anything we do or say, including private conversations, to be posted on the internet. Therefore, we will have to be weary of anyone wearing them because you will never know if they are recording you.
As a result of this and other related technologies, government agencies and corporations, or even manager’s from private companies, will easily have far more information at their fingertips when they screen potential applicants. Even if you aren’t wearing the glasses someone else may be, and with the new face recognition technology there is no hiding behind a screen anymore.
Though Google Glass is an innovative new way to be constantly communicating and have all the technology and information you need right in your line of vision, versus at your fingertips, it takes away from your privacy. Just think, with face recognition technology and, say, 1 in every 20 people wearing these glasses, your entire day could be recorded and posted on the internet without your knowledge. That is a scary thought to me. I believe privacy is a right that we need to maintain.