(Photo : Google)
Las Vegas casinos have already stated their intentions to ban the use of Google Glass, Google's still unreleased wearable computer. Now, eight members of Congress are also speaking out about their concerns, saying it could violate the privacy of the "average American."
In a letter addressed to Google CEO Larry Page, the Congressman state that Google Glass could potentially identify people on the street and access their addresses, marital status, work history, and hobbies.
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They add, "As members of the Congressional Bi-Partisan Privacy Caucus, we are curious whether this new technology could infringe on the privacy of the average American."
The group then proposed a series of questions to the company. Some of these included:
"What proactive steps is Google taking to protect the privacy of non-users when Google Glass is in use?"
"When using Google Glass, is it true that this product would be able to use Facial Recognition Technology to unveil personal information about whomever and even some inanimate objects that the user is viewing?"
"Would Google Glass collect any data about the user without the user's knowledge and consent?"
The legislators are requesting that Larry Page answer the questions by June 14.
Google Glass engineer Charles Mendis recently told The Verge that the company has designed Glass with "visual cues" meant to protect people's privacy. This would mean having to focus on someone in order to record them, making it very obvious as to what you are doing. Mendis adds that Google will require that the display is turned on when the device is running an app, making it even clearer that someone is attempting to record something.
It also bears mentioning that while these are all very legitimate concerns, Glass is not even close to hitting the market yet. There is still so much we don't know about this technology, that all of this questioning seems to be a bit too proactive. Until we actually understand how Google Glass will function, it does seem a bit wrong to be throwing accusations at the company.