Is Google Glass Really Safe For Those Concerned About Internet Privacy?

Google Glass is getting a lot of attention these days, from both big supporters and cautiously skeptical naysayers. That’s nothing new: Most forms of revolutionary technology take a while to catch on with the public. Not to mention the fact that Google Glass just looks plain  odd. But aside from the strikingly “different” aesthetics of this computerized eyewear, some people are claiming that Google Glass security leaves something to be desired. Is Google Glass really safe for those concerned with Internet privacy? Here’s what you need to know:

What is Google Glass?

It helps to know what you’re dealing with when considering the true implications of such technology. Google Glass is comprised of a pair of eyeglasses with completely clear lenses that are connected to a computer processor found in the frame of the glasses. This processor can basically do anything any portable computing device can do (think of a smart phone, but without the phone). Instead of using your fingers to give the system commands, you use your eye movements. This is made possible by cutting edge technology that tracks your eye movements and responds accordingly.

The Problem with Eye Movement Tracking.

Because Google Glass also consists of an outward-facing camera, the computerized system can technically record anything and everything you look at, down to exactly where and what your eyes scanned. This means that while I may be able to hide my IP address on a computer, I stand literally zero chance of hiding anything with Glass. For those concerned with privacy, this has some obvious drawbacks. Imagine knowing that a computer has the ability to record data about everything you look at during the day, in addition to how your eyes (pupils, movements, etc.) reacted to what you were seeing. Taking into account the scientifically proven fact that a good majority of our eye movements are involuntary and also indicative of what’s going on in our minds, is that kind of information something you want to make available to whoever happens to have the power and know-how to grasp it from the network? Most likely not.

Word from Google.

Of course, the media has been quick to vocalize the security concerns of Americans, and Google has given word that the Internet privacy of users is a top concern of developers. However, that “assurance” leaves plenty of room for interpretation, as Google has yet to offer any hard and clear explanations for how, exactly, users’ Internet privacy will be protected.

Fortunately, you probably have a while before you have to start worrying about whether or not Google Glass is safe for your regular use. This breaking technology is still in development phase–meaning, only app developers can get their hands on it, and for a hefty $1500. Time will tell whether or not they work out all the kinks. Until then, Google Glass will likely remain a source of suspicion amongst privacy-conscious consumers.

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons