OPINION: Google Glass might be a menace to privacy


In the midst of privacy concerns to the public and accusations of spying by the NSA, users of technology have felt an increase in paranoia to unseen eyes looking at their data.
We should always be mindful of our privacy when using our precious devices, but sometimes the design of new technologies makes our digital security even more difficult. Take the device known as "Google Glass" as an example. These newly designed high-tech glasses allow you to view your email, get driving directions, place a phone call and take photos/videos, all from your head. Google Glass takes the technological experience to a whole new level.
Gone are the ages of pulling your shiny smartphone from your pocket, it slipping from your hand and shattering on the East College sidewalk. No more putting a bulky Otter Box case on your device, only so that it can collect lint and get stuck in your pocket. Glass is a revolutionary concept placed in interestingly designed Ray-Ban/Oakley frames.
Glass takes the partial experience of using an operating system and places it in front of your eyes. Although this is beneficial to the consumer, and a clear advancement of mobile technology, the concept of Glass raises concerns among consumers and retailers alike.
Imagine sitting in the Den. You are eating an order of barbecue chicken wings or whichever messy food that you have an appetite for. Do you really want the person sitting across from you or at a different table to be able to record your voracious consumption of tasty drumsticks?
Will Google make Glass' camera feature easily identifiable to those being recorded or photographed? I would hope so, but it seems likely that a developer will design and code a camera program for Glass that does not activate the small indicator light when recording.
While the concept of the easy point-of-view photography and recording of Glass is enticing, I'm worried that some users will use this technology in a negative way. A handful of private businesses have asked that Google Glass users do not wear their devices in these businesses' establishments. I wouldn't be surprised if some government buildings ban the device also.
Since Glass is only in a "beta," or development stage, nothing about its design or features is completely solidified. By the time the final product is launched, we might see a larger recording indicator light or some other form of regulation of its camera features.
Changes in the design of the product might ease my concerns with the privacy issues that Glass raises. However, due to the invite-only nature of Glass' development program and it's $1,500 price, it seems unlikely that I'll get to try Google Glass before I'm in the Den eating chicken wings in a frantic state of paranoia.

- Mote is a sophomore French major from Indianapolis.