Google Glass Ban Makes Smartglasses Illegal, But Is Regulation Necessary?

Google Glass ban talk is already becoming a hot topic and the product is not even available for sale yet.

As previously reported by The Inquisitr, potential Google Glass bans include bars, strip clubs, “glassing” while driving, and pretty much anywhere where smartglasses might be seen as dangerous or an invasion of privacy.

But I have to say that any Google Glass ban should stop short of making smartglasses illegal. They’re here, they’re inevitable, and simple regulations should serve instead of an outright ban.

Even the group Stop the Cyborgs, which has launched an anti-Glass campaign, believes there should be a limited Google Glass ban. Stop the Cyborgs contends there should be three simple rules to protect against privacy invasion:

1. They will never allow any face recognition system or any app which automatically identifies people to work on Google Glass or on any server system connected to Glass.

2. They will implement a do not track system which allows people to opt out of being tracked or having information captured about them by Glass. This system should not require the person to identify themselves.

3. That all information gathered by Glass will remain the property of the owner or subject and will be encrypted so that it is impossible for it to be data-mined, made available to security services or used for commercial purposes.

Google chief Eric Schmidt is equally open to a limited Google Glass ban:

“I think you’re describing a world of tracking which I think is highly unlikely to occur, because people will be upset about it in the same way you are. Governments won’t allow it, and it’ll be bad business. And ultimately, in a competitive market, companies want the consumers to be happy. So it’s true tracking in this context…you’re taking a much broader view of the word [‘tracking’] than any I would use. A situation where you go to people and say, ‘Oh, here’s our phone, and we’re going to track you to death,’ people are not going to buy that phone. It’s just a bad business model.”

At the same time, any potential Google Glass ban or regulations should allow for people who want to use the Google Glass to its full potential. Augmented reality games will probably start to push the limits of smartglasses first, but there’s other technology that will be coming down the pipeline to transform how we use smart devices like Google Glass. So while I agree that indiscriminate facial recognition is probably not a good idea, there should be put in place a standard technological method for such devices to signal that the user is okay with being scanned and identified.

For example, let’s say Facebook eventually extends to augmented reality with the Google Glass. If smartglasses users don’t mind their face being scanned, then whenever you see a fellow Facebook user with your Google Glass then an informational cloud would hang over their head. Like the Facebook page itself, Facebook users could determine what information is available to those looking at the world with Google Glass.

What do you think is fair for a potential Google Glass ban?

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