Google Glass – a change in technology, or society?

Last Fall, numerous news sources covered a story concerning privacy and consent. Yet again, the Internet was exploiting women without their expressed consent. This time, the culprit was Reddit.
A popular social news and entertainment site, Reddit features thousands of subreddits, which allow for users to develop a personalized experience, only viewing content from the subreddits that they have subscribed to. There are popular subreddits like r/funny, r/gifs, r/adviceanimals (for memes), and there are more controversial subreddits, like r/jailbait (banned) and the subreddit in question, r/creepshots.
This subreddit was devoted entirely to uploading pictures of women taken in public places without their consent. Sometimes of legal age and sometimes not, the pictures were rarely in good taste, even ignoring the nature of the situation.
It didn’t take long for the legitimacy of the subreddit to be called into question. Contributors and subscribers to the subreddit argued that the pictures were taken in public places, and thus were legally theirs, but after only a few news cycles of bad press, the moderators of the site banned Creep Shots. When contributors tried to find other ways and other sites to upload on, a particularly fed-up Redditor started compiling their personal information and posting it to a Tumblr entitled “Predditors”.
Despite this issue being taken care of relatively quickly, the issue still stands that it is incredibly easy to record audio, video or pictures of anything you’re currently witnessing, and thanks to Google, it’s only going to get easier.
Google is currently in the phase of testing their new augmented-reality head-mounted display, known as Google Glass. Essentially, its a pair of glasses, with a camera and single lens instead of optical lenses. It’s designed to give you a heads-up-display which you can interact with primarily through voice commands. The interface is seen through the lens over your right eye, which can allow you to Google search terms, destinations through Maps and most importantly, record video and pictures directly from your point of view.
When you first see a promotional image of someone wearing Google Glass, you’ll think it looks silly, and you’re right; it looks like something from a movie filmed in 1950 but set in 2020. But the real point of contention won’t be with the fashion or aesthetics of it; it will be how our society is affected by the fact that they could at anytime be recorded.
Think about it: if this product gets as popular as even just Android smart phones (Google’s current flagship mobile device), then at least a few people you know would have one. If used as intended, these people would be wearing the frames most of the time. At any time, they could simply speak a voice command or tap a few buttons (located along the frame’s sides) and begin recording. Do we really have any idea what effect this will take on how we act in public?
Could this issue be as simple as banning the wearing of the device in the same places that you would ban the use of phones (i.e. schools, movie theatres, etc.)?Could Google develop a signal on the device that lights up when it is recording?
Obviously, this product raises a lot of questions, but also reminds us of a few things as well; namely, that we should be wary of such implements, but also grateful for the freedom we have in public, at least for the time being.

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