Google Glasses and the Do Not See List?

Google Glasses and the Do Not See List?

Release of new details about the Google Glass project deservedly is getting great attention from a range of tech and privacy writers.  The idea of smart glasses is familiar to fans of Vernor Vinge’s book Rainbow’s End, which won the 2007 Hugo Award for best science fiction novel of the year.  It’s safe to say that most people, however, have not deeply imagined what it will be like to have the equivalent of a computer screen super-imposed on their vision as they go through daily life.

Reporters have been asking whether to foresee advertisements on the smart glasses of the near future.  My assumption is that we will see ads.  Ads exist on television, radio, magazines, smartphones, and the Internet, so they will almost certainly exist on smart glasses.

Will there also be privacy debates about those advertisements?  Yes, of course.  Marketing companies will emphasize that the ads are incredibly useful – you look at the restaurant when walking down the street and a coupon pops up.  Privacy advocates will emphasize the intrusiveness of seeing the world through a series of distracting and perhaps-unwanted ads.  Advocates are also likely to express concern about the power of advertising to literally shape a person’s “world view” – to alter what a person sees moment-by-moment when traveling through life.

As the privacy debates commence, I think we can even announce a likely title for a regulatory debate about smart glasses – the “Do Not See List.”  We have had “Do Not Call” for phones and “Do Not Track” for web surfing.  Should individuals have the right to opt out of targeted ads on their glasses?  It will be overwhelmingly tempting to call the privacy debate about smart glasses the “Do Not See” debate. I hereby give in to the temptation early.

For me, it is unbelievably exciting to imagine the range of new applications that will emerge to see the world differently.  It is hard to predict the killer aps for this space, except to predict that there will be many of them.  (As a professor, I immediately think how wonderful it would be to get prompts of student names when I forget them.)  It is easy to predict, though, that privacy and other tech experts will debate long and hard about who gets to affect what I see, as I look out through my new pair of smart glasses.

 

-Peter Swire

Leave a Reply


Related Posts

Privacy Calendar

Dec
2
Tue
all-day IAPP Practical Privacy Series 2014
IAPP Practical Privacy Series 2014
Dec 2 – Dec 3 all-day
Government and FTC and Consumer Privacy return to Washington, DC. For more information, click here.
Dec
11
Thu
9:00 am Progress of the EU Data Protecti...
Progress of the EU Data Protecti...
Dec 11 @ 9:00 am
The EU Member States have agreed to conclude the negotiations on the EU Data Protection draft Regulation in 2015. The process will have arrived at a critical point by the end of this year. The[...]
Jan
26
Mon
8:30 am Privacy as a Profit Center: Leve... @ Old Slip by Convene
Privacy as a Profit Center: Leve... @ Old Slip by Convene
Jan 26 @ 8:30 am – Jan 27 @ 4:15 pm
Learn how those on the leading edge of privacy governance and digital innovation from companies including Cigna, Cisco Systems, eBay Inc. Public Policy Lab, FocusMotion,Ghostery, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, Google, HP Enterprise Security Products, JPMorgan[...]
Jan
28
Wed
all-day Data Privacy Day
Data Privacy Day
Jan 28 – Jan 29 all-day
“Data Privacy Day began in the United States and Canada in January 2008, as an extension of the Data Protection Day celebration in Europe. The Day commemorates the 1981 signing of Convention 108, the first[...]
Mar
4
Wed
all-day Global Privacy Summit 2015
Global Privacy Summit 2015
Mar 4 – Mar 6 all-day
For more information, click here.
Mar
10
Tue
6:00 pm CDT Annual Dinner “TechProm” 2015
CDT Annual Dinner “TechProm” 2015
Mar 10 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Featuring the most influential minds of the tech policy world, CDT’s annual dinner, TechProm, highlights the issues your organization will be facing in the future and provides the networking opportunities that can help you tackle[...]
Mar
13
Fri
all-day BCLT Privacy Law Forum
BCLT Privacy Law Forum
Mar 13 all-day
This program will feature leading academics and practitioners discussing the latest developments in privacy law. UC Berkeley Law faculty and conference panelists will discuss cutting-edge scholarship and explore ‘real world’ privacy law problems. Click here[...]

View Calendar