Privacy.

Yesterday I mentioned Google Now and the upcoming Google Glass that will be hitting the consumer market next year. If you’re not following along with my posts on a regular basis, Google Now is a predictive tool that takes all of the personal information you’ve given Google and suggests various things, like restaurants in the area you might like, traffic details for your commute home, the scores of your favorite teams, etc. I think it’s pretty nifty software and I am very impressed by it. Google Glass is a wearable device that ties to your smartphone and affords you much of the same information as well as giving you the capability of taking a photo or a video (and a bunch of other things) right from these “eyeglasses”. It’s pretty magical; all you have to do is say “OK Glass, take a picture” and it takes a picture at whatever the glasses are pointed at.

There is a concern that Google Glass is going to invade our privacy even more by capturing people and the like in everyday use without the “target” knowing it.

I kind of get that, but here’s the deal. Google Glass doesn’t take a picture without the photographer speaking out loud. You’re going to hear someone say “OK Glass, take a photo” or “OK Glass, take a video”. (Google Glass takes only 10 seconds of video at a time). I can point to THOUSANDS of “sneaky pics” scattered all over the internet where people are doing there normal, everyday thing in public and someone has captured the moment on a smartphone (Droid, iPhone, whatever) without the person knowing it. It’s commonplace. Because of the voice commanded interface, Google Glass is less likely to be used for this type of activity.

Do I like the invasion of technology into our lives this way? Yes and no. I like the fact that we’ve come up with tech that does all of this predictive stuff and that we are able to connect with others anywhere in the world with ease. I’m sorry, but that ability makes me feel more connected and human with my fellow human beings. Perhaps if we were more connected with one another we’d be less likely to kill each other. As I typed that last sentence I had to rethink it because in reality, there are times when I see what other, random people do and I just think they’re outrageously and hideously stupid, but that’s a whole additional blog entry.

The fact of the matter is, being in public is no longer confined to the walls of the space you’re currently in. Do I think a person should wear their Google Glass to the bathroom? That’s just tacky, just like the folks that carry on phone conversations in the bathroom.

Paradigms are shifting and I really think there’s going to be a disconnect between the old school and the new way. If people remembered to be respectful with their use of new technology, there wouldn’t be an issue. It’s not the technology that’s the problem, it’s the people using it. And they only way we’re going to get better at that is by educating others and adjusting our social behaviors.

My, we’ve come along way with privacy concerns since the days where my social security number was printed on thousands of receipts when I was a cashier at a now defunct department store chain. Let’s talk about that sometime!

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