Robert Scoble Takes Google Glass Into A Public Restroom and No One Notices

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News Posted: Fri, Apr 26 2013 3:28 PM
There are louder and louder rumblings about Google Glass and how it’s essentially a device that invades individuals’ privacy more egregiously and surreptitiously than anything on the market. Indeed, it’s unnerving to think that any Tom, ***, or Jane walking down the street can snap photos or take video of you simply by looking at you, without your knowledge or consent.

However, despite public concern, tech blogger Robert Scoble said at a tech conference in Amsterdam that he wore the high-tech specs (he has the early Google Glass Explorer Edition) for an entire week and walked into about 20 public men’s restrooms with them on without incident and without anyone really seeming to notice he was wearing them at all. (Insert joke here about the general lack of eye contact in men’s restrooms.)

Robert Scoble Google Glass
Robert Scoble with his Google Glass specs (Credit: Yahoo!)

It’s also worth noting that Scoble said that the goggles aren’t recording video all the time; users have to either use a voice command or a touchpad on the side of Google Glass to start shooting. In other words, just because someone wearing Google Glass looks at you doesn’t mean you’re on camera.

Of course, it’s probably going to be impossible to tell when you’re being recorded. A little LED indicating that the video camera is active could do the trick, but of course people will just remove the light or cover it up. In any case, there’s no doubt that the first bona fide Google Glass-based dustup is only a matter of time.
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Haha, Ive been wondering about the whole privacy issue with google glasses... Like the article says, its going to be only a matter of time before there is going to be legal issues.

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3vi1 replied on Fri, Apr 26 2013 4:24 PM

Tomorrow's story:

"Robert Scoble Takes Google Glass Into A Public Restroom, Accidentally Tweets His Peen."

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

++++++++++++[>++++>+++++++++>+++>+<<<<-]>+++.>++++++++++.-------------.+++.>---.>--.

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ajm531 replied on Fri, Apr 26 2013 5:38 PM

look ive read plenty of articles of how stupid is to be overly concerned about privacy and this camera on your head. In case people forgot there are so many other cameras embedded into everyday objects like a tie, or a device that looks almost identical to a bluetooth headset to name a few, that are on the market and no one complained about them. Also you dont need a led as it will be very noticeable if you see someone staring at to grab a pic or a video.

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sevags replied on Fri, Apr 26 2013 5:56 PM

ajm531; it isn't that people can't already be recording with other devices it's that they have to go out of their way and buy privacy intrusive recording devices most likely for that specific purpose. The problem with Glass is that googles vision is to have as many people as possible wearing them, something the camera tie market is either not doing or not succeeding at. Imagine a group or HS kids or college students having them they might not have intended its use being to invade privacy but it's a matter of time before they do even if unknowingly especially if they think they are more likely to get away with it than holding up a cellphone.

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I suppose it's true what they say, "one man's trash is another man's treasure"... because I can't see any upside to recording people in the restroom besides quality farting samples.

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I suppose it's true what they say, "one man's trash is another man's treasure"... because I can't see any upside to recording people in the restroom besides quality farting samples.

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Sorry about the double-post, I couldn't figure out how to delete it. The picture they put with this article makes me laugh in context though.

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ajm531 replied on Fri, Apr 26 2013 7:14 PM

i understand you point but again the tie was just one tiny example. Counterpoint: There are hats and belt buckles that have embedded cameras and again this is just the tip of the iceberg. Do a google search youd be amazed how many common everyday objects they can squeeze hidden cameras into. And you know what else? all these objects cost way way less than google glass. Even when google makes them public they will be out of many peoples budgets and most people wont be able to justify spending even 200$ much less 600$(since that is the rumored price). My point is even if google wants them on everybody its not going to happen unless they ship one to every household in america for free and even then some people still wouldnt wear them since they are not the most fashionable piece of tech(i like them personally) so as far as someone wearing them in the bathroom or just invading your privacy in general isnt going to a big problem. And jumping back a bit but to finish my point, if i really wanted to invade someones privacy perse i am going to do it a much much lower cost and much more subtly than going out and buying google glass. And being in highschool only a few years ago i can tell you google glass is gonna more so appeal to the nerdy or its gonna be the rich preppy kids that have lots of money so that their parents will just buy it for them since they can and its going to be those that have a love of tech that are going to spend that much money on something like google glass. So all in all no one and i mean no one should be concerned about google glass being a privacy concern. Its just dumb.

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Man i would prob get man if someone walked in looking at my junk with thouse

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sevags replied on Fri, Apr 26 2013 8:56 PM

I don't view Glass as a $1500 device for long I am sure their goal is the bring down the cost asap.

I already know we were using a tie as an example I know of allll the other devices out there but again people buying those intend to invade privacy including cheap camera glasses, but I'm saying Glass wearers warrant buying them to invade privacy but could end up doing so. Example for me I'm a pretty moral guy but this is 1 thing I thought of that I could easily be guilty of, if I'm walking in a mall right now and I see an attractive girl I can't awkwardly take out my phone on a whim and start snapping away to show my friend later instead of just describing her to him without security or a slap coming my way but wearing glass I can pretend to scratch my head and touch glass to take pics of vids. What I perceive as an innocent act just to show a friend is a big breach of privacy. That's the possibly knowing a person is wearing a camera on their head but you don't know if you're being recorded or not. It's like being in a theme park and as you're walking you notice you're about to be in the backdrop of someone's photo and you move or block your face as most people do but at least you get a warning or confirmation your pic was taken, with glass you just don't know and that's scary for some.

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Kidbest100 replied on Fri, Apr 26 2013 10:42 PM

This doesn't surprise me in the slightest...

Google Glass is really cool, ut I think it needs some security and privacy tweaking before it gets really out there.

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Johnny3D replied on Sat, Apr 27 2013 12:13 AM

These days I think people are getting entirely too hung up on privacy issues. If you're REALLY so concerned about having your picture taken, don't go out in public at all. This whole "privacy in public" concept really doesn't make any sense to me at all. Sure, someone could potentially wear these into a public bathroom and TRY to get a look at my genitals using them. They can already do that with a whole slew of devices and anyone trying to get a clear view of my genitals in a public bathroom is going to have to be pretty dang obvious about it.

It isn't a breach of my privacy to take a picture of me if I go to a public place. I am aware that cameras exist. I am also aware that people have them and that they are extremely common. Now... if you're trying to peep in the windows of my house, you're breaching my privacy because I am actually in a private place (my home), but in public... well... I'm in public!

So like I said... if you're REALLY so concerned about privacy that you want to ensure that nobody ever gets you in a photo that you didn't explicitly ask them to take, don't go in public. In fact, go live somewhere where technology isn't allowed, just to be safe...

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sevags replied on Sat, Apr 27 2013 10:50 AM

Johnny3D; so you really believe being in public shouldn't afford you any privacy? You have rights everywhere you go not just in the privacy of your own home and those rights say you deserve a certain amount if privacy in public. Why do you think TV stations need people to sign release forms before their likeness can be used on the air. So celebrities deserve to be harassed by poparatzi (Spelling) just because they left their homes?

You at one silly person to suggest someone should't leave their home, it's people like you who just roll over and take whatever snake oil is being handed to them.

Google needs to add a recording indicator LED, simple as that and no getting around it. I for one would like to be aware of recording so I can stay out of the way, I also won't ever be having a conversation with someone wearing Glass until there is an indicator light.

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Johnny3D replied on Sat, Apr 27 2013 9:22 PM

You think you can make your arguments without the personal attacks?

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Maybe there will have to be some sort of device that would render google glass inactive in certain places, I want to say like an EMP or something, but that would probably damage the system. But sort of like a "no fly" zone for the device should definitely be implemented, and probably will be created by google, to compliment their device for these types of situations. Or just get some high powered IR lights and sew them into your pants right around your junk, that may do the trick ;).

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Clixxer replied on Sun, Apr 28 2013 7:05 PM

Johnny3D:

You think you can make your arguments without the personal attacks?

I know right! I'm with you on this though. Cameras are going to take pictures with a bunch of devices. Hopefully they won't get pictures of my "private" areas in a public bathroom but its still bound to happen.

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^That's actually a pretty good idea!

Google could implement some thing where the glass detects you are in the bathroom, and disables any recording or picture abilities.

I know it could be incredibly expensive to do, so maybe it could fall under the business in which the place is located to install these. It would certainly take alot of soccer-mom scare out of the whole google glass thing, and it wouldnt affect the user that much! Why would the user care if they couldnt take pictures or video in the washroom, unless they really were up to no good?

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