Google Glass Says 'No' to Adult Content
The concept of Google Glass has been a hit so far for Google, but some critics argue that they continue to be worried about the privacy implications surrounding the use of Glass, which is an eyewear-mounted computer that features a still camera, a video cam and other real-time recording features. And this week has been an especially busy one for Google and its Glass project when it comes to privacy and societal standards. In addition to Google banning adult-oriented apps, on May 31 the company announced that it will not allow facial recognition apps on Glass— at least for now—until strong privacy measures can be put in place to protect users and the public from misuse. Several privacy experts told eWEEK that the move to ban facial recognition apps for now was probably the right call. These are not the first incidents where privacy issues involving Glass have arisen. A West Virginia legislator introduced a bill this past March that would have banned drivers from operating motor vehicles while wearing Glass and similar head-mounted devices, but the bill stalled and no action was taken in the last session of the state House.In May, the Bi-partisan Congressional Privacy Caucus sent a letter to Google CEO Larry Page asking some pointed questions about how Google planned to ensure that the privacy of users and, more important, non-users was being protected. The members of the caucus noted a series of stories in the media that had emerged about Google Glass, particularly about its ability to find detailed information about a person just by looking at them, and letting Google perform facial recognition and then providing all available information. The very first Google Glass preview units began shipping in April only to Glass developers who signed up at the original June 2012 Google I/O conference to buy an early set for $1,500 for testing and development. The Glass project was unveiled officially for the first time to developers at that event, where Glass was the hit of the conference. Each Google Glass device includes adjustable nose pads and a high-resolution display that Google said is the equivalent of a 25-inch high-definition screen from 8 feet away. The glasses also boast a built-in camera that takes 5-megapixel photos and video at 720p. Audio is delivered to wearers through their bones, using bone-conduction transducers that were revealed in earlier reports. Google Glass isn't yet ready for the general public, but sales of the devices are now expected to begin sometime later this year, according to a recent eWEEK report. That's at least months earlier than the 2014 retail debut the company had been targeting since last year, a source inside Google told eWEEK. The source would not elaborate on why the retail launch schedule is being moved up.
Some members of the U.S. Congress are also taking up the cause of asking lots more questions about the privacy implications of Google Glass, even before the devices are sold to the general public, according to a recent eWEEK report.