Google Glass can be characterized as futuristic, innovative, and nerdy. If you haven’t seen it, you must check out the unveiling video featuring of ice skaters, skydivers, and proud parents all using the head-mounted display. Google Glass is basically a smartphone you wear in front of your eyes. It can check email, take pictures, video chat, and of course, make calls.
But as we’ve learned from many great sci-fi movies, we should question how this technology could impact our lives negatively.
Google is currently just selling Glass to a limited number of customers. Ultimately, Google is attempting to introduce a revolutionary product that could dramatically change our culture and behavior. Despite its bells and whistles, security experts are raising red flags. What about the serious privacy and security risks? How can we protect personal information and sensitive spaces from the all-seeing Glass?
“You’re taking a picture right now!?”
Google Glass can take photos or videos without a subject noticing. Much of the privacy debate stems from this capability. Does Google Glass empower the wearer to record others in compromising or private positions, like a bathroom or dressing room? It would certainly be easier than walking into a bathroom with a cellphone poised to take a video.
A new app called Winky lets you take a photo with Glass by simply winking. While there is obvious a convenience and quickness factor, it also brings with it an element of secrecy and invasiveness.
Very Real Security Concerns
Video recording and chat with Glass are very cool. They allow a viewer to see through another’s eyes. You can take a tour of the MoMa with a friend who is 1000 miles away. You can experience a roller coaster in real-time from your couch. But then again, “with great power comes great responsibility.”
We don’t know exactly how or what a Google Glass hack would look like, but conceivably a malicious hacker could transmit video of everything you see. That could include passwords, usernames, door codes, or where you hide that extra set of keys. If you experience it, Glass could record it. Android and iOS hacker Jay Freeman recently explored security exploits on the device saying, “Sadly, due to the way Glass is currently designed, it is particularly susceptible to the kinds of security issues that tend to plague Android devices.”
He also goes on to warn of real world consequences: “A bugged Glass doesn’t just watch your every move: it watches everything you are looking at (intentionally or furtively) and hears everything you do. The only thing it doesn’t know are your thoughts.”
But what are your thoughts on Google Glass: Awesome new technology to experience? Or end of privacy?