The highly anticipated wearable device and already controversial Google Glass was recently released in the UK. The pair costs $1,700 in the region, which is more expensive than the $1,500 price stateside.

The UK launch of Google Glass only happened last week. No information on how many pairs have already been sold but the issue now is how the device will be categorized.

The Information Commissioner's Office first said that the Google Glass is the same as digital cameras and smartphones. It will be treated as a simple device that collects information only for "domestic purposes".  This means information is for the individual only and not for public consumption. Domestic purposes of such device are exempted from the Data Protection Act.

A number of legal and privacy issues are expected to come up especially now the Google Glass is in the UK. It's interesting to note how the Glass will fare in a society where paparazzi's are not welcome. However, the ICO still has not set of special regulations for this one yet. The Glass still fits the regular rules, the same way as a regular digital camera or camcorder does.

While Google Glass is considered a personal device, its use is being questioned in the U.S. In San Francisco for example, bar owners are banning the pair. Owners cannot use the wearable technology while in some premises because other customers are concerned about their privacy. People don't want to be filmed without being told and this could be the same thing in the UK.

No formal debate and decision have been set yet but the British people and government officials will discuss how the Google Glass can fit their everyday life. There are present laws and the owner of the Glass, is required to comply with the UK Data Protection Act.

ICO Senior Technology Officer Andrew Paterson writes:

"There is an important debate to be had around the privacy implications of wearable technology and it will ultimately be for society to decide how comfortable they are with wearables."

The protection of personal data in the UK might be reevaluated because it is projected that individuals will raise their concerns about the Google Glass. Businesses are also believed to join the debate but according to Paterson, "it will ultimately be for society to decide how comfortable they are with wearables."

In cases of 'excessive' use of the Google Glass, the police would have to decide. Abuse of recording without the consent of a person or group could be considered harassment but it's really up to the authorities, at least, for now.

Meanwhile, owners of properties can ban the use of Google Glass on their premises. A number of establishments have acted on the issue. Costa Cofee and Starbucks said they would ask the Glass owner to not use it inappropriately. Vue cinema management said guests would be required to remove their pair.  

The arrival of Google Glass in the UK also brings about a new era. It may not be evident right now but the society will definitely have to adapt to the changes. Citizens should not abuse its use and are still required to comply with the law. Otherwise, more establishments and organizations will be forced to put a ban on the pair and similar devices.

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Tags: Google