U.S. Congress has questions about Google Glass and privacy

Members of the U.S. Congress’ Bi-Partisan Privacy Caucus have sent an open letter to Google CEO Larry Page, questioning the company’s privacy consideration when it comes to Google Glass.

“Since the announcement of this initiative, there have been a number of articles written discussing not only the vast innovation of this technology, but also the privacy implications,” they pointed out, adding that since the product is yet to be released to the masses, there are still a lot of questions they would like to know the answers to in order to assess whether the technology “could infringe on the privacy of the average American.”

The questions (in short) are as follows:

1. How does Google intend to prevent unintentional collecting of user and non-user information without their consent?
2. How does Google intend to protect the privacy of non-users, and the data of users who, at one point, decide to sell the device or throw it away?
3. Will Google Glass be using Facial Recognition Technology? If so, will non-users be able to opt out of this, and how?
4. When would Google reject requests on Google Glass that would risk the privacy of others?
5. Will the Google privacy policy be changed (and how) to reflect the innovative capabilities of Google Glass?
6. What information would be collected from the device – with or without the users’ knowledge?
7. Future Google Glass apps and privacy as priority for the developers?
8. Will Google Glass store any data on itself, and will it have an authentication mechanism to protect it?

I must admit, they did a good job with the questions. The caucus requested a response by Friday, June 14, and I’m curious to see what Google’s intentions are – provided, of course, they want (or can be forced to) reveal them openly.

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