Google Glass privacy questioned by US Congress

American politicians are questioning Google on the privacy issues surrounding its new Google Glass augmented reality technology.

Eight members of a US Congressional caucus have sent a letter to Google CEO Larry Page asking him to discuss their concerns over Google Glass privacy.

The letter, addressed directly to Page, outlines eight questions the caucus wishes to ask about Google Glass, especially the data the augmented reality tech will collect from its users and non-users.

“As members of the Congressional Bi-Partisan Privacy Caucus, we are curious whether this new technology could infringe on the privacy of the average American,” reads the letter. “Because Google Glass has not yet been released and we are uncertain of Google’s plans to incorporate privacy protections into the device, there are still a number of unanswered questions that we share.”

The group contains members of both the Democrat and Republican parties and has previously asked technology companies to further elaborate on the data they gather from users and how that data is used.

The letter states that Google doesn’t have the best track record when it come to the way it handles its users’ personal information, especially highlighting the fine incurred by the search engine for the data inadvertently gathered from open Wi-Fi networks by its Street View service.

Concerned about future Google Glass users, the group worries a similar problem could happen again if Google doesn’t introduce stronger privacy features.

Page is also asked to explain how Google aims to protect those not using Google Glass, especially as the technology is capable of filming and taking photographs from the user’s point of view.

“When using Google Glass, is it true that this product would be able to use Facial Recognition Technology to unveil personal information about whomever and even some inanimate objects that the user is viewing? Would a use be able to request such information?” reads question 3 of the letter.

The Congressional caucus gives Google until June 14 to response to its questions.

Next, read Google Glass: The privacy problem and how to solve it.


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