Filed Under:

Arrest Caught On Google Glass Reignites Privacy Debate

The Fourth of July holiday brought about another first for Google Glass, the computing device that you can wear on your face.

A documentary filmmaker named Chris Barrett was wearing Glass for a fireworks show in Wildwood, N.J., when he happened upon a boardwalk brawl and a subsequent arrest. He and the technology community that has been tracking notable Google Glass moments believe he recorded the first public arrest caught on the Glass' built-in camera.

"This video is proof that Google Glass will change citizen journalism forever," Barnett wrote on his YouTube page. While all citizen journalists armed with a camera or a smartphone could capture similar video, Barnett told VentureBeat that the fact the glasses were relatively unnoticeable made a big difference:

"I think if I had a bigger camera there, the kid would probably have punched me," Barrett told me. "But I was able to capture the action with Glass and I didn't have to hold up a cell phone and press record."

But others aren't so sure. Christophe Gevrey, the global head of editorial solutions for Thomson Reuters, wrote this on his blog:

"More notable than the video itself is the ease at which it was captured without the knowledge of those in the middle of the melee. His footage foreshadows the rapidly approaching future where everything can be filmed serendipitously by folks wearing devices like Google Glass without the knowledge of the parties involved."

The video capability of Google Glass is raising the most concern of regulators. As The Washington Post reports:

"In May, the House Bipartisan Privacy Caucus wrote Google a letter, asking for more information about how Google Glass will work within the company's privacy standards. Last month, 10 privacy regulators from around the world, including Canada, Australia and a European Commission panel, asked Google for more information on how the company's headset complies with their data protection laws and what data it collects."

Google responded on June 7, saying that it won't be changing its privacy policy to deal with Glass-specific concerns, but that it is "thinking carefully" about the feedback it's getting from lawmakers.

What do you think? Is Google Glass an exciting new front in citizen journalism or is it making it too easy for citizen snooping? Tweet at us @NPRAllTech or we can chat in the comments.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Filmmaker Andrea Arnold On 'American Honey' And Preserving Mystery In Film

Arnold's latest film, which won the Jury Prize at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, tells the story of a group of abandoned teenagers who travel together selling magazine subscriptions door-to-door.
NPR

Our Robot Overlords Are Now Delivering Pizza, And Cooking It On The Go

A Silicon Valley start-up wants to use technology to solve the pizza paradox. It's a food that's meant to be delivered, but never tastes quite as good upon arrival.
NPR

The Supreme Court: A Winning Issue In The Presidential Campaign?

It's been eight months since Justice Antonin Scalia died unexpectedly, leaving the Supreme Court short-handed and its future up for grabs in the presidential race.
NPR

Our Robot Overlords Are Now Delivering Pizza, And Cooking It On The Go

A Silicon Valley start-up wants to use technology to solve the pizza paradox. It's a food that's meant to be delivered, but never tastes quite as good upon arrival.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.