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Google Refuses to Change Privacy Policy for Glass; Tells Congress They Know Best

July 2, 2013 - Written By Tom Dawson

 

There has always been privacy concerns where Google Glass is concerned and it got to the point where the United States Congress wanted to know just what was going on. Not just that but, they wanted to urge Google to reverse their decision of lumping Glass in with the same privacy agreement as everything else. You might remember some time ago that the bipartisan Congressional Privacy Caucus sent Google a letter back in May to address privacy concerns. Well, Google had some time to think and they’ve finally come up with an answer. It’s pretty much a resounding “No”.

In a letter sent to Congressman Joe Barton, co-chair of the bipartisan Congressional Privacy Caucus dated June 7th, Google stuck to their guns and revealed that they wouldn’t be adjusting Glass’ privacy, nor would they create a separate policy just for the new device. Here’s the key quote from the letter:

“Use of Google Glass will be governed by the terms of the Google Privacy Policy and no changes to the Google Privacy Policy are planned for Glass”

Of course, the core system of Glass isn’t going to be where all of this begins and ends, apps will start to flood the device as adoption becomes more widespread and these themselves create a privacy risk. Google are taking the same tact here as they are with Android apps and privacy, permissions that apps ask for will be displayed when being added to Glass just as they would be when installed on your smartphone. This, Google feels, is more than adequate.

You can read the full letter from Google here, and while it’s mostly just Google telling Congress “No” in around 4 pages, it might be worth a read if you’re genuinely worried about Glass. The issue with such a debate seems to be that people who have no access to the device – or have even come in contact with it – seem to think they know exactly how it’ll be used in the future. While I’m not sure hat Google should be coerced into making a new policy for Glass, it’s clear that the old rules just don’t apply here. It’s been the exact same way with copyright law and digital music – old rules and laws cannot possibly relate to new technologies.

Congressman Barton is unimpressed and here’s the statement he made in response to the letter from Google:

I am disappointed in the responses we received from Google. There were questions that were not adequately answered and some not answered at all. Google Glass has the potential to change the way people communicate and interact. When new technology like this is introduced that could change societal norms, I believe it is important that people’s rights be protected and vital that privacy is built into the device. I look forward to continuing a working relationship with Google as Google Glass develops.

How do you feel about Glass? Let us know in the comments below!