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Google Glass: Orwellian Surveillance with Fluffier Branding

1. Cover Graphic Stop the Cyborgs
Recently a Seattle bar has pre-emptively banned Google Glass from its premises, generating mixed reactions online, but also raising questions about whether they will present a privacy concern when used in public spaces. The 5 Point Café made its intentions clear with a post on its Facebook page that stated: "For the record, The 5 Point is the first Seattle business to ban in advance Google Glasses. And ass kickings will be encouraged for violators," it said alongside a graphic of an eye adorned with the glasses, and a red cross struck through. Once the dialog gets going, we begin to see that Google Glass may not be that cool in many circles in the future. Couriers, visitors, janitors all of a sudden become a threat to businesses as these people get into various offices, have access to files late at night and Google Glasses can go live to whoever is wanting information on their competitors.

Another point in the noted article above stated that we shouldn't "be surprised when those on the sexual offenders' list in most states are banned from owning/wearing Google Glasses as part of their punishment." Some have questioned if Google Glass could be banned in Casinos. And the more the wheels begin to turn you know that the list of those who won't want Google Glass around them or their offices is going to grow exponentially.


The UK's Telegraph has a great article on this subject. They framed it so well when they stated that Google Glass is "Orwellian surveillance with fluffier branding." The report continued by stating that Google Glass "isn't just video surveillance – Glass uses audio recording too. For added impact, if you're not content with Google analysing the data, the person can share it to social media as they see fit too."


Yet that is the reality of Google Glass. Everything you see, Google sees. You don't own the data, you don't control the data and you definitely don't know what happens to the data. Put another way – what would you say if instead of it being Google Glass, it was Government Glass? A revolutionary way of improving public services, some may say. Call me a cynic, but I don't think it'd have much success.


It's already led to reactions in the US. 'Stop the Cyborgs' might sound like the rallying cry of the next Terminator film, but this is the start of a campaign to ensure places of work, cafes, bars and public spaces are no-go areas for Google Glass. They've already produced stickers to put up, informing people that they should take off their Glass.


"If choice is an illusion created between those with power and those without," The Telegraph states, "then Google Glass goes to the heart of what it is to live in a digital world and what it is to exercise choice about your privacy. The danger is that we lose our privacy and Google gains the power."


Last June we reported that Apple had won a surprising Anti-Big Brother Surveillance Patent that discussed how Apple could possibly assist their customer base with the threats of cyberspace by creating a unique clone identity to fool those that track users around the globe. Google Glass however is a threat beyond such feeble software.


The general topic itself of advanced computer surveillance systems has caught the imagination of the creators of the TV show "Person of Interest" who make us leery of the Government program called "The Machine."


Some of what I've read recently has made me realize the potentially negative side to Google Glass before it ever hits the streets. And yet for filming life's little events such as birthdays, important meetings and/or capturing the beauty of a hike in the Great Canadian Rockies won't have a darn thing to do with spying and yet the thought that what I'm filming may not be private, makes me wonder if the potential negatives outweigh the positives.


For now I'm still open to Google Glass, but I'm sure between now and the time it launches, we're bound to hear both sides of the argument get louder and louder showing us more of the pros and cons of such a technology. Google Glass is coming come hell or high water so there's no stopping it. But from what I'm seeing, there's going to be a powerful movement that will make every effort to severely restrict its use.


What are your thoughts on this?


May 17, 2013

Lawmakers Show Concerns About Google’s New Glasses


March 25, 2013

The State of West Virginia to Ban Wearing Google Glass while Driving





Proof: "And just as Google and other companies are trying to find smarter and smarter ways of filtering the world’s information, so is the CIA, USING MANY OF THE SAME TOOLS AND TECHNOLOGIES (emphasis added) — it is just doing so for a different purpose." Ira “Gus” Hunt CTO CIA

The clearest proof of convergence and cooperation between Google and CIA. The same data the same algorithms just different zip codes to send the search results.

Its easier for Google to search for ammonia nitrate for fertilizer ad placements as for bomb making! But the results just gets filtered to CIA. It efficient as well -- one access Google's Android, one search engine Google two interested parties and CIA doesn’t want 'Nose job' results. So CIA only wants defined search details not the crap that Google ads makes its money on.

Google thus sees itself as saving "the American Way" and in the process being protected by Uncle Sam ( father's {big} brother) when it transcends the law just as J Edgar never believed in the Mafia even though the CIA used the Mafia in WWII and continued its contacts till '63 and beyond.

I've always said Google has as its defender the FBI CIA and any other USA department that wants without court warrant access to personal data.
On top of spying on everyone itself for direct advertising its data is usefull to the Feds.
With the GG not only will Google know where you are it can access data through a dumb human.

The perfect Big Brother!

The opportunities to make money off the secrets of others with this new technology are mine boggling and limited only by one's imagination.

Thank you Google in this time of recession for helping clever early adopters to access unlimited wealth.

Any way to jam the signal in private or corporate zones?

I completely agree. Google Glass is dangerous. I found this article that does a good job explaining why. Laws definitely need to be passed to stop this kind of technology.

Bring on google glass. If you've got nothing
to hide you've got nothing to worry about.
It's just a great useful handy piece of technology.
We all walk around with phones and use them
In appropriate situations. Anyone stupid enough
to use this technology to break the law then let them
feel the full force of the law. Just respect establishments
If they don't want visitors using them on there premises.
Welcome to the future, I for one cannot wait.
Trudie UK

I totally agree with this article.
Google seems to be interested in every business that can bring them information about people.

"Don't be evil", they say.
But guess who decides who is evil and who is not?

Rumour is that even Google will ban the use of Google Glass in certain areas of its own workplace. However this shouldn't be suprising as many workplaces and institutions ban cameras, photography, or video. As for ownership this is becoming more commonplace look at twitter's policy if you post a picture. I for one think that Google Glasses provides a practical step forward in computing. It could have great application in the workplace and I've suggested a few use cases in my blog:

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