Wearable technology is one of the trendiest topics nowadays. Examples include smart watches, rings with Bluetooth, even tattoos are part of this new category. But probably the one getting the most attention and controversy is Google Glass, which has been all the buzz on the web since 2012.
Google Glass is a wearable computer. You can access the Internet, it has a camera and a microphone that enables users to take photos and videos and share them online in real time. It can use GPS for location-tracking and directions. It can be connected to a smartphone to make phone calls, send text messages, and read email. The device is controlled by the wearer’s voice and gestures, and it truly seems like a first step to connecting someone’s mind to a device –it sees what the user sees, hears what the user hears, and it records it all. But, consider the risks before jumping on board with any technology, especially when it comes to privacy. Even Google’s own doctor admits the technology can cause serious headaches.
Although its capabilities may seem really cool at first, it has also brought great concern. A lot has been said about the risks of using Google Glass, mostly regarding if it´s safe to drive or to wear under regular every day circumstances, because in practical terms it is a real distraction. It is no secret that mobile devices have brought about many new safety concerns such as texting and driving! Soon, it may be even harder for drivers to keep their eyes on the road. More gadgets are taking us away from real life.
But more than discussing the risks related to accidents, or even the sociological implications of being 100% connected to the Internet, it is important to think about how wearable technology can attribute to the dark side of sharing online and loss of privacy and safety. The risk is real and growing.
Romance scammers, burglars, internet criminals, kidnappers and other serious criminals are already benefiting from mobile devices, GPS and the careless way we use social media. As with any new technology, Glass won’t be used by honest and law abiding citizens only.
This device has been described by the manufacturers as an empowering tool, one that will help you connect to the world in ways you never did before. But many questions remain. For example, we do not live in a perfect world. How is this device empowering hackers and organized crime? Are we prepared to fight back? How is this device empowering the surveillance efforts of the U.S. government and NSA? Are you ready to wear a device that can track your every movement? Have you read 1984?
International private investigators say that the major concerns involve the fact that people can wear this device everywhere, and all the information of their everyday life will be registered and stored and read by someone. How valuable will that data be? Many concerned have already banned Google Glass.
All data recorded by Glass, including photos, videos, audio, location data, and user data, is stored in the cloud on Google’s servers. Glass can connect to the Internet via wifi, or tether to the user’s smartphone. Even when offline, Glass can record pictures and video. Who´s going to use this information? And what will it be used for? Rest assured, your data will be sold at a nice profit. Google will also allow developers to create apps to enable additional functions. Who will control the kind of apps being developed for these devices?
The giant tech company has had some trouble already with the launch of Glass. In fact, data protection authorities urged Google to clear things up last year, but many doubts still remain.
There is a global uncertainty around the risks of wearable technology. Increasingly, Big Brother is watching. Everything you do is being recorded, shared and sold. For now, the best advice is to consider the risks before signing on to the corporate and government effort to monitor your every move.
© 2014 Wymoo International
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