Why Is Congress Concerned About Google Glass?
Talk about Google Inc.’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) new high-tech eyeware is buzzing, especially after the company’s technology advocate announced Thursday that it would be partnering with Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Twitter and others to build new interactive and innovative apps. Interestingly, reports now show that certain members of Congress are also buzzing, but rather than expressing excitement, they’re looking for answers.
The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that eight members of Congress have sent a letter to Google Chief Executive, Larry Page, asking him how he can account for privacy safety with his new wearable-computing device. Among the most significant questions is how Google will guarantee its glasses aren’t accumulating users’ information without their consent. The use of facial-recognition technology is also a point of inquiry.
The letter was signed by members of the congressional bipartisan “privacy caucus.” And this isn’t the first time the new eyeware has faced legislative pushback. Several state legislatures have already suggested banning the use of the eyeware while driving. While some privacy advocates share the congressmen’s concerns, others such as Justin Brookman, director of consumer privacy at the Center for Democracy & Technology, contend Google Glass ”doesn’t do anything more than your phone can already do — it’s just a new hands-free interface.”
Unfortunately, these eight congressmen might not get an immediate response from Page, as Google is now holding its annual developer conference in San Francisco, where it coaches developers on how to write programs for the device. Google was also too busy with the conference to comment on Congress’s letter to Page.