If you thought that Google Glass presents more privacy issues and potential for more intrusions from the government or other eavesdroppers, you may be surprised to hear that it isn't necessarily true. There are issues with every new technology, but that doesn't mean we should automatically think our private lives will have to be put on hold every time we put on a pair of Google's glasses.
The director (errr, Captain as his official title states) of Google X -- which is a lab that produces innovation and things like self-driving cars as well as Google Glass originated from - lately spoke at TechCrunch's Disrupt NY, an annual tech event currently taking place in Manhattan Center, NY.
His name is Dr. Astro Teller, and he reassured the crowd to not worry about privacy when it comes to Google Glass. He also doesn't think there has to be a division between the physical and digital worlds when it comes to us being engaged in our daily lives.
"There is no law of physics that says just because we're connected, there has to be this schism between our physical lives and our digital lives," he said. "I grant that people are generally uncomfortable with how fast privacy issues are changing in the world, but Google Glass is not going to move the needle on that."
The concern stems from the fact that Google Glass uses cameras and other technologies to potentially record us in real time or have the ability to transmit our data in real time to a lab. However, as Teller pointed out in the interview, cameras are already ubiquitous in everyday life, at least in major cities of the USA, and the actual tech isn't as disruptive as one may think, it could be privacy wise. Basically, the problem is already here, and there is not much we can do about it.
He cited an article form the New York Times that was written in the 1800s that voiced similar concerns and as evidence we are worrying too much. You may also be familiar with A Brave New World and 1984, but that is another discussion. However, many concerns are founded in fact as big data is taking off and companies are looking to find predictive analytics on their consumers.
Google Glass cameras, in their current form, are actually really bad spy cameras, he said. This is due to their reliance on users having to face the direction the cameras record and them lighting up during recording.
In its current form, Google Glass cameras and gear isn't going to automatically record our private lives for some Google executive to enjoy vieweing with popcorn in hand. However, who knows what the future brings and if this is just the first step to having our lives be accessible by someone or organization to track and collect data from.
This has always been the downside of the digital and online age. Privacy being put set aside for functionality, efficiency and the growth of technology. There has to be some middle line drawn somewhere however.
With so many questions coming out of the event related to the future and Google, you may be wondering if jet packs will make an appearance soon?
"No," said Teller. However, he and the folks at Google X are interested in them, but right now they would be too power inefficient to be taken seriously by the lab.