The tech nerd in me loves the idea that Google’s new eye-wear device “Glass” has been developed and will soon be on the market. While I’m astonished that such technology can be developed, a small part of me is also unnerved and slightly afraid of what social and political consequences may arise. This gadget is so futuristic! Are we ready for this yet?
Google’s new gadget (proudly sponsored by the future!) has already made some cracks in our legal code. The device has been distributed to thousands of lucky beta users – some of which have been met with legal confusion surrounding its use. Unfortunately, I feel these instances have only marked the beginning of what will be a long series of court-cases, as lawmakers battle to keep up the pace with today’s fast evolving technology.
For those of you who don’t know, Glass is an eye-piece that is similar to a pair of glasses. The device sports a small, transparent screen that sits just above the right eye so as not to obscure the user’s vision. Users can use voice-command to record pictures and videos, engage in live video-chats, send messages, use GPS, and even translate their own language all while simply wearing it.
But despite these interesting features, some beta-users have not been so lucky. Last October, a San Diego woman was pulled over in her vehicle for speeding. When the officer saw she was wearing Glass, he also gave her a ticket in belief that she had been driving “with monitor visible to the driver.” Later, the court decided to throw the citation on account that the officer did not have sufficient proof that she had been using it.
Just last week an Ohio man was suspected of recording a film he was watching while at the cinema. After the cinema had him reported, he was then drilled by officers from ICE Homeland Security Investigations. While the man proved that the recording feature was inactive, this does not mean that other users can’t at least use the same excuse.
You see, Glass is the first gadget on the market that is truly secretive in its execution, and this secrecy has made authorities suspicious. While its easy to tell if a person is using a cellphone while driving, or a camera to record at the cinema, its nearly impossible to tell if a user is doing the like with Glass, as it carries similar features. This apparatus is the first truly personal accessory. Only the user knows what is happening through the lens.
Furthermore, it’s far too easy to evade legal trouble if one is using Glass to break the law. If questioned by authorities, the user could simply state that he or she was not using the gadget for those intended purposes. Officers, like the one who took the speeder to court, will not have proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the device is in use. In other words, expect more “Glass- Criminals” to hit the headlines in the near future!
For these reasons, Google Glass makes me nervous. Because it is such a leap in technological advancement, Canada’s lawmakers need to get their asses in gear and discuss modifications to our current code. I can’t imagine the stress these people go through; our society evolves too rapidly! While I feel sorry for them, it must be done. Glass is only the beginning of a series of personal, wearable gadgets and the abundance of problems they will cause.
Feature Image: http://storiesbywilliams.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/google_glass.jpg