Google Glass chief "amazed" by privacy issues that helped kill his project



okay, that’s lots hyperbolic divisive purple prose with no clear argument on how google glass is practically different from a smartphone. You’ve indicted a dude for being well off and white, but that’s not actually a substantive argument.


Remove the camera, add a big external battery pack, and you are back in business.
As cell phone screens get larger and larger, something smaller that has a bigger virtual screen is undoubtedly going to be useful.

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I concur.

The issue as I see it with Glass is/was the fact it’s always possible to be recording without being overtly obvious about it. You kind of know if someone is taking video with a smartphone, but Glass more or less hides that from everyone else. Ironically a lot of people don’t like to be photographed or filmed by other people, but being filmed by a “thing” (company, the state, ect…) is for your good…or something along those lines.


Seems to me his argument isn’t “privacy isn’t important” at all, but that it’s surprising to him that people reacted so angrily to a tiny number of really lousy cameras attached to people’s heads when they’re already being actively recorded by dozens of cameras at any point in time. It’s interesting that we’re used to CC cameras filming us everywhere, but one guy with a tiny camera on his eyeball – which may or may not even be on – is unacceptable.


So Glass is dead, huh? Too bad. I kinda wanted one, but couldn’t justify it based on the price and how douchy it looked. Was looking forward to future versions that fixed both issues.

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I’m with him. You’re already being recorded on security cameras, phone cameras, this is just one more camera, the difference is that it’s obvious…


Yup! The problem with glass is that there was no additional bonus for people to be ok with giving up their privacy. As we have learned, people will welcome big brother with open arms if there is enough incentive.

I dont get the hate thrown at this well off white dude, I kind of agree with what he is saying. If anything his product was just too early. But I do think it is common for corporate fat cats to blame consumers before they blame their own product for its failures. They didnt get to where they are in life by being wrong, and a lot of their success is more about corporate politics than products.

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True, I had a facebook friend threatening to punch anyone he saw with Google Glass. It was way out of proportion. Even though he was halfway across the country I quickly pulled up several public webcams where I could watch streets in his town live online.

While claiming you are already being recorded so one more camera is not a big deal is not a great argument, neither is focusing on something as innocuous as Glass as a case in point.


Aside from the glow of the screen, telling it out loud that you want to record, only being able to do a short clip at a time without holding down a button on it, and needing to hold your entire head pointed in the direction of what you’re recording.

Though I still think it’s silly that they didn’t throw some kind of overt indicator light on the thing. Or just make a model without the fricking camera - as nice as it might be sometimes to always have a camera at the ready, needing to pull out a cell phone (or use one on a “smart watch”) isn’t that much of an inconvenience.





I’m disappointed, I was looking to the commodification of google-glass, eventual ebay-appearance and consequent price-drop.


A big issue is the uncertainty factor of Glass. With a public security camera, you know it’s on. It’s idly filming 24/7 (or at least seems to be). It’s big and obvious and hard to miss. When there’s someone across from you on the subway wearing Glass, you have no idea what’s going on there. Are they filming you? Reading email? Taking your picture? Watching “Frozen”? There’s nothing creepier than the unknown, and Glass made people super uncomfortable with the possibility of invading your privacy at any moment.


I think what we are seeing is that the right to not be recorded was only tenable since there was a scarcity of video cameras. Now that there is an abundance you should assume that everything you do is recorded. I personally find that disturbing, but I am not sure there is any meaningful way to turn back the clock on it.

As a measure of civility, device makers should make it obvious when a device is recording. But I would still stand by the above analysis: what you do will be recorded.

I would personally love to have a personal HUD, but they looked too dorky.

I was never interested in it once I learned that it was just a screen and not augmented reality. The day to day applications seem pretty limited. There are few instances where this would be preferable to a smart phone screen. Most times when I need my hands free, my eyes should be free too.


True, it was the worst mix of obvious potential and secrecy.Which is why I think people reacted irrationally to it. But that kind of reaction would have been hard to anticipate in the development phase. I am sure they just thought adding a camera to their new gizmo would be cool, have a few practical applications and be a stepping stone for later developments like object identification.

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I don’t think the explorer program did them any favors either. Hype was on a par with a commercial rollout, but availability was early beta. The ginned up exclusivity combined with the high price definitely gave the impression that it was a toy for those who are both rich and connected, far removed from the province of the plebes


This simply isn’t the case. There are millions of people who are not invested in this sharing culture and literally thousands of circumstances in which those who do participate draw a line. Children, for instance. I have a moderate online presence, but would be very uneasy with a person (even a parent I know) wearing one of these at the edge of a playground my children were playing on. Or on a date. Or to a performance. This is entirely about consent and the ability of those giving consent to vet where and how that consent is an approved usage.

And at any rate, this technology and usage is very new, no matter how accustomed a few people are to it’s ubiquity. It is entirely fair for people to not entirely understand their immediate reaction and be given time to form boundaries even if the train is already barreling down the track.

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“When someone walks into a bar wearing Glass… there are video cameras all over that bar recording everything.”

True. Assuming he’s primarily referring to security and CC cameras, things like that. With those, there’s a tacit understanding that most of the time, that surveillance footage is never looked at. And if it were looked at, it would be for very specific reasons like investigating a crime. Granted - that’s just a tacit understanding and there’s not much we can do to validate, let alone enforce, any of the terms of that understanding.

But when someone walks into a bar wearing Google glass, there’s NO tacit understanding that said person won’t post every second of that to YouTube just for shits and giggles. That recording is for that person’s personal use. So it feels a lot more sensitive because there’s no unsaid understanding that this is anonymous surveillance footage to be used in very specific circumstances only. YMMV. This is all just my speculation.


Other than having a quick chuckle about you pulling the “think about the children card”, I think you make very valid points. Of course there will always be folks on both sides of the fence, no matter how well something is liked or disliked.

But I have a feeling that if this camera had more use such as augmented reality showing deals, or localized tweets, or maybe even facial recognition that references sex offender lists, then people would be clamoring for it, and the people that dont want it can just deal with it.

If i tried to sell a device that tracked your every move, watched every click you make online, looked at every photo you upload, and watch every purchase a person makes, no one would buy that. However, there is a world wide billion dollar industry that sells those exact devices. People will put up with all of this and more, but they are upset over the possibility of someone near them that might or might not take a shitty picture of them? How classic ego centric is that? That’s fine they feel that way, but I have to say their privacy concerns are greatly askew.

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The entire over-sensitivity was set off and amplified by Googles marketing of the device. By making it limited and handing out numbered statues to the few deemed worthy it created a social and economic rift. Keeping peoples hands of the device further fueled and amplified legitimate paranoia. The whole thing sets off this creepy bad sci-fi future feeling. This feeling can be summed up by the white guys wearing google glasses meme.