Google’s wearable computer — “Google Glass” — records everything its wearer sees, whether the people in view want this or not. It already listens to your commands, meaning it can hear, and so audio recordings are no doubt on the “product roadmap”, as they say in software engineering.
What do Google executives such as Babak Parviz say about privacy issues? Garbage like this:
Asked what he thought of the privacy issues as Glass technology becomes more invisible in the future, Parviz said, “That’s already an issue with smartphones. Back in the 1880s, when the first camera came out, and it became possible for someone to take a picture of you, it made people uncomfortable. It took some time for society to figure it out. The trajectory for a device like this is something similar.” <source>
Nice try, but no, these kinds of technology innovations are not like the advent of photography 130 years ago. The simple reason is that there is no longer any length of time for people to regulate their words and acts, which results in more and more insensitivity in society and more and more condemnation of people for making regrettable statements that they otherwise might not have made, or otherwise might not have had served up to a global audience primed for shaming people to death.
If you doubt this, ask Michael Richards, previously of Sienfeld fame: his racial counter-attack of a heckler in a comedy club was captured by a smartphone and replayed repeatedly to a global audience, which dutifully emptied several lifetime’s worth of condemnation on the man. I am not defending his anti-social conduct at all, but I am saying that the consequences were wildly out of proportion to the transgression, and these consequences were brought into being by technology.
Google Glass ups the ante by orders of magnitude, and we are all at risk whether or not we say intense things.
So imagine this: your every word is recorded by hundreds of people you encounter each day as you move through the world; every complaint, every short-tempered moment, every giggle at jokes, every expression of political crankiness (towards George W or Barry O), every everything. Do you know anyone who does not go through a range of emotions, including many frustrations?
Now imagine this record of your speech and expressions in the hands of a skillful editor, aka government bureaucrat at Barack Obama’s NSA.
I guarantee you that if such a person wanted to they could create a video montage that would turn you into an imminent threat to the republic who needs to be detained.
Getting back to Parviz’s incorrect analogy to the advent of the camera in the 1880s: if you wanted to avoid having your picture taken, you could do so quite easily. The hunter with the camera could be seen from a mile away. How about Google Glass?
On the road ahead, Parviz wants technology to disappear. That’s why he likes Microsoft’s Kinect motion-sensing system. You don’t even know it’s there.
“It should be the least intrusive,” he said.
He wants the technology to “disappear…”, he says, but this is a bold-faced lie: he wants the appearance of the technology to disappear, not the technology itself.
That is, he wants the technology to become ubiquitous, and invisible, so that all of us are under the watchful gaze of a million eyes, 24/7, being recorded in a central location via continuous WIFI transmission of data.
I have a book for Mr. Parviz to read:
In case you need more convincing, I offer this story from today:
German publication Der Spiegel is reporting (via Google Translate) that the NSA successfully hacked the United Nations.
The agency apparently cracked the encryption code needed for the organization’s internal videoconferencing calls, according to documents leaked by Edward Snowden, which also show that the NSA’s bugging of the European Union (first revealed at the end of June) continued even after the EU moved embassies in September 2012. Within weeks of the code being cracked, the number of documents decrypted by the NSA had increased almost 40–fold, from 12 to 458. <source>
This is Barack Obama’s NSA in action — not George Bush’s NSA, Liberals, but Barack Obama’s. This should be a wake-up call to all Americans regardless of political affiliation: if the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Barack Obama has the NSA spying on American citizens and hacking the United Nations, then there can be only one conclusion:
Leviathan lives, and is growing by leaps and bounds, and when given a treasure trove of data that Google Glass will generate, freedom will be extinguished.
The Fracture of American Society
I am going to make a prediction right here and now:
In the not-to-distant future, parts of our American society will be inspired by a coming “Mount Rushmore Manifesto” and break off and form communities in which technologies like Google Glass are banned, privacy is protected, and people are expected to live within personal boundaries based on moral principles found in the classical tradition of the Enlightenment and the Judeo-Christian faith. The U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights will hang on every wall, and Freedom, with Personal Responsibility, will reign supreme.
Will the legions of government-dependant Obama-ites tolerate these islands of American heritage? They will have to, one way or another.