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Google Privacy Government

Congress Demands Answers From Google Over Google Glass Privacy Concerns 201

Posted by Soulskill
from the do-any-of-you-know-what-a-smartphone-is dept.
Today eight members of the U.S. Congress have sent a letter to Google's Larry Page, asking him to address a number of privacy concerns about Google Glass. In the letter (PDF), they brought up the company's notorious Street View data collection incident, and asked how the company was planning to avoid a similar privacy breach with Glass. They also ask how Google is going to build Glass to protect the privacy of non-users who may not want their every public move to be recorded. Further, they ask about the security of recordings once they are made: "Will Google Glass have the capacity to store any data on the device itself? If so, will Google Glass implement some sort of user authentication system to safeguard stored data? If not, why not?" Google has until July 14th to respond.
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Congress Demands Answers From Google Over Google Glass Privacy Concerns

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  • by morcego (260031) on Friday May 17, 2013 @02:43PM (#43755615)

    You can vote out the government, atleast theoretically, or move outside its jurisdiction. No such luck with people wearing Google Glass all around you in public, in the office, even the bathroom stalls at Google I/O.

    If everyone else, or the majority of people, is wearing them, how is that different from voting? It is exactly the same principle.
    I'm sure it take more people to make a Google product like this viable than it takes to elect a senator.

    It is "the democracy of the wallet".

    Notice: for people who will say that your privacy will be violated even if the majority is not using it, read again my second phrase about electing a senator.

  • Hell froze over (Score:4, Interesting)

    by SirGarlon (845873) on Friday May 17, 2013 @02:55PM (#43755733)

    My first thought when I read the summary was that hell had frozen over: Congress is thinking about privacy!

    My second thought was that *Congress is thinking about privacy*. This can only be a good thing. I think we should encourage them, saying "you're on the right track, keep going that way" rather than being derisive.

    Parent is right, government surveillance/data collection is a huge privacy issue. That does not mean it's the only privacy issue. It is easier for our inherently timid Congresscritters to start by pointing the finger outward from Washington, and I'm OK with that because it at least starts the policy discussion we so desperately need.

  • by cold fjord (826450) on Friday May 17, 2013 @03:10PM (#43755897)

    Good luck with that. Even if Congress goes to the trouble of answering it, much of the media, including social media, will likely down play it if it might reflect badly on the current administration.

    Heard anything about this one?

    IRS sued for improperly seizing the medical records of 10 million Americans [dailycaller.com]

    It is just an adder to the growing pile.

    The IRS Scandal, Day 8 [typepad.com]
    Benghazi Emails Directly Contradict White House Claims [weeklystandard.com]
    Congressman Paul Ryan on Benghazi, IRS, and DOJ Snooping the House: “Of course I’m troubled. Are you kidding?” [hughhewitt.com]

    One of the interesting controversies regarding the MX missile was the plans for basing. One of the proposals was called "dense pack." The idea was that if you put a bunch of missile silos close to each other, attacking one silo with a nuclear warhead would result in so much turbulence, blast, and local radiation that if more warheads were arriving at the same time, they would be battered by the effects of the previously exploding nuclear warhead and be ineffective in attacking the silo they were targeted at. (No, I'm not kidding.) You might be seeing the political equivalent of that right now. There are so many scandals coming out of so many agencies, they compete for attention, confuse the public, allow the media to more or less squeeze them out, and attenuate the political damage. This could be one of those, "They are incompetent, insane, or brilliant" moments. I don't like much of any of what has been revealed, but I wouldn't place a bet on it having any lasting impact on the administration. Most of the media, minus AP, seems indifferent to being spied on, and you would expect that to rouse them if nothing else would. Apparently not.

  • Hey Congress... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 17, 2013 @05:20PM (#43757617)

    See that tiny speck why out there on the ocean's horizon. That's the ship that's already sailed.

    You can get VGA resolution, 30fps Bluetooth camera that looks like a pair of glasses and has 4 GB of memory for something like $30. If the glasses are to obvious, you can get on that looks like an earpiece. And you can already just hide behind a wall and stick the phone out just far enough for the camera to see around the corner. You honestly think a device like Google Glass, that screams "Look! I'm a cyborg!", is going to erode our privacy more that it already has been?

Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable.

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