Google Glasses and Omniveillance

April 7th, 2012

From Kash Hill:

What I think is actually “creepy” is how Google Glasses will accelerate the arrival of the persistent and pervasive citizen surveillance state.

As I noted yesterday after a privacy-invasive trip to Reddit, we love spying on each other and capturing strangers’ intimate moments. Smartphones have made it incredibly easy for us to turn the world into our own personal theater, to document and then broadcast what we (and those around us) see and hear and do. Oh, your roommate is having loud sex with his girlfriend in the other room? Sure, why not record the noises and send around the sound file so others can enjoy?

If we all start wearing glasses with cameras, the process of seeing and recording will become that much easier and possibly continual. I could imagine a feature — which life loggers and quantified selfers would love — that would allow you to record and save everything. Or, if you prefer not to accumulate that much private data about yourself, you could set your camera to continually record (and consistently erase) chunks of time — it could be five minutes, fifteen minutes, an hour, or a day, depending on your privacy settings. If something awesome (or horrible) happens that you want to save, you could instruct your Glasses to permanently store that file or upload it to your YouTube account. No more “Whoops, I didn’t get my smartphone out in time to record that!”