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Google Privacy Government

Congress Demands Answers From Google Over Google Glass Privacy Concerns 201

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 Mike Van Pelt ( 32582 ) on Friday May 17, 2013 @02:32PM (#43755485)
    Google Glass is visible, right there up on the wearer's face. What about all those cell phones that can do video recording, and can do that video recording right there from your shirt pocket, with no visible indication? Cameras are getting pretty small these days. Someone up to something nefarious, the camera lens is going to be one of his shirt buttons.
  • by FrankSchwab ( 675585 ) on Friday May 17, 2013 @02:34PM (#43755507) Journal

    Can I ask Congress the same question about the US Governments data collection efforts?
      - How is the US Government going to protect the privacy of Citizens who may not want their every public move (phone call, email, etc ) to be recorded?
      - What about the security of the recordings that are made - Will the US implement some sort of user authentication system to safeguard stored data? If not, why not?

    There's a whole sequence of questions that I'd much rather hear the answer to than similar questions about a dorky headpiece.

  • by mystikkman ( 1487801 ) on Friday May 17, 2013 @02:35PM (#43755517)

    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.

  • Grandstanding (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 17, 2013 @02:35PM (#43755533)

    Eight members of Congress on Thursday formally demanded that Google address a range of privacy concerns about its new wearable technology device, Google Glass.

    Blah blah blah. Yadda yadda yah.

    Give us some campaign contributions, and use of your private jets and we'll be gone - in the meantime, we'll use this to fool our constituents that we care.

    Cynical? Yep.

    Am I right? Yep.

  • ugh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Huggs ( 864763 ) on Friday May 17, 2013 @02:41PM (#43755589)
    They only care because that means a individual may accidentally record them picking up a hooker or something else scandalous. If congress was somehow exempt from the decrease in privacy, they wouldn't give a rats behind.
  • by spire3661 ( 1038968 ) on Friday May 17, 2013 @02:47PM (#43755653) Journal
    Where were these questions when LEO and private businesses rolled out CCTV everywhere?????????
  • by nimbius ( 983462 ) on Friday May 17, 2013 @02:47PM (#43755667) Homepage
    between the benghazi conspiracy theory, the 37th repeal of healthcare reform, and the shitstorm over patriot groups applying for a form of charity that explicitly prohibits them from political activity its a wonder these guys can find a minute in the day to "write a letter to google" about their privacy concerns. its also kind of amazing because i didnt hear a fucking peep from most of these career policitians during the patriot act or warrantless wiretapping and im pretty fucking sure that involved a large telecommunications company. one question committee head Joe Barton is asking is:

    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 some inanimate objects that the user is viewing? Would a user be able to request such information? Can a non-user or human subject opt out of this collection of personal data? If so, how? If not, why not?

    Substitute "google glass" with "United States Law Enforcement" and you begin to see how fucking hypocritical this entire endeavor is

  • by spire3661 ( 1038968 ) on Friday May 17, 2013 @02:49PM (#43755685) Journal
    Google Glass is merely the public facing tip of a very large iceberg. Wearable cameras arent going away.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 17, 2013 @02:55PM (#43755737)

    Yep, very soon our every move will be monitored. Not much we can do about that, but we could legalize drugs, gambling, and prostitution so that most people have nothing to hide, and we no longer create black markets for desirable items. We'd also stop treating peaceful people as criminals.

  • by hawguy ( 1600213 ) on Friday May 17, 2013 @03:06PM (#43755857)

    Why does it have to be nefarious? I have a real desire to be able to record everything i encounter if i desire. It opens up some very interesting possibilities It is not nefarious to collect photons in public.

    That depends how you define "public" since Google Glass may be worn in places that aren't traditionally "public" like restrooms, gym locker rooms, etc. I don't really care if you peek over from the next urinal and watch me pee, but that doesn't mean that I want you capture it with your glasses and post it to Youtube. Likewise if I hire a plumber to fix my leaky bathroom faucet, I'm fine with him snapping a few photos of the bathroom sink so he can get the right parts, but I don't want him using Google Glass to record everything in my house on his way to the bathroom which could be exploited (by him or someone who hacked his Glasses) to build a database of attractive theft targets along with a detailed map of everything of value in the house.

    Cameras (even ubiquitous cell phone cameras) are a known risk and it's generally easy to see someone recording with their cell phone, but Google Glass becomes a "hidden in plain view" spy cam.

  • by bobaferret ( 513897 ) on Friday May 17, 2013 @03:08PM (#43755867)

    Here's what might be a more useful link: The Photographer’s Right [krages.com]

  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Friday May 17, 2013 @03:21PM (#43756025)

    You can vote out the government

    No, not even theoretically can you do that. All you can do is vote IN leaders, who MIGHT be able to make changes in government organizations... but the organizations are very entrenched, and have many levers to prevent the people voted in from making changes.

    This is why it is such a bad idea to form any new government entities, because they exist only to keep existing and to exert more and more control.

  • Re:Hell froze over (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tlhIngan ( 30335 ) <slashdot@nOSpam.worf.net> on Friday May 17, 2013 @03:58PM (#43756475)

    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.

    No, what happened is that the interest of politicians and the people they're supposed to represent aligned in this one case.

    You see, imagine if people were using Glass - and recording stuff around them. Let's say it captures a politician coming out of a less-than-completely-upstanding business (which could be anything someone can raise much about). That image is stored and uploaded to Google, and possibly tagged. Now any political opponent can go and claim that said politician believes in X because they just came from a store that supports it.

    Think of anything mildly controversial and see how it can get blown up. Perhaps it was a store selling porn - I'm sure the family first groups will use that at any opportunity (and I'm sure it's probably a common enough event, but one that can be used as leverage).

    Basically, they're worried about politicians being captured on film doing stuff. It may be normal behavior that gets twisted around like a quote out of context, or it could be someone capturing actual backroom deals taking place, etc.

    And the cynical side of me says it's because the politicians don't want any recording of them doing anything "bad" like being seen with industry executives that support them, or being hypocritical, etc.

The Force is what holds everything together. It has its dark side, and it has its light side. It's sort of like cosmic duct tape.