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Google Glasses Are Not Your Average Prescription: Why Parents Need to be Concerned

By Sue ScheffMay 21, 2013

google glassGoogle Glasses: Not Your Average Prescription: Why Parents Need to be Concerned.  If you haven’t heard of Google Glass yet, it is only a matter of time.

In a recent ZDNet article, this is a good summary:

Parents are already on the lookout of strangers apparently taking photos of children in parks and similar places. There are plenty of incidents reported of parents getting police officers involved because they think someone they don’t know is taking photos of kids. Imagine how much worse that will get with several Google Glass wearers in the park. Just seeing someone looking at kids will set off the parent alarm.

Privacy has become something that we are desperately trying to hang on to, however everyday as the Internet expands and the human hand continues to improve and/or divulge new ways to uncover technology, we seem to be losing more of our transparency.

As adults, we need to be proactive in shielding our social security number, bank accounts, understanding when we are on secure websites and other security measures digitally for us and our kids.  Understanding and employing online security is part of parental controls, but there is no easy way to control the outside world—now with the potential risk of a piece of glass that people (strangers) can wear that have the ability to see, snap and save more than you are willing to give? And you are clueless they are capturing your every movement, which could include your restroom stops.  Not only is big brother watching, you have sisters, cousins and all sorts of strangers you will never meet.

On April 30th Google Glass was showcased on the Today Show as Matt Lauer decided to join the next tech generation by wearing Google Glass.   For a couple of hours they showed the fun side of Google Glass.

Taking pictures, videos, issuing  commands (the voice activated side of Google Glass), and even an accidental phone call loop that Al Roker got stuck in.  They said it wasn’t his fault since the method for navigating this technology is new.

Google Glass does have its’ attributes for enjoyments that many techies will love, as a recent Mashable article stated, but it also has some major concerns, in my opinion, that will outweigh the positives.

It was the weatherman, Al Roker of the Today Show to bring up the valid point that I opened this article with—privacy.

Easily the biggest concern, though, is privacy. Wherever I wore Google Glass I would get looks. No one asked about them, but I could see them regarding the device with interest and, maybe, a bit of concern. Today weatherman Al Roker peppered me with questions about privacy. As I explained, it’s hard to surreptitiously film someone. When Google Glass is on, you can see the screen illumination –- from the outside. Roker said, “What if you’re walking behind someone?” Yeah, I guess that could happen, but then they’d likely hear you saying “Okay Glass. Take a picture.”

It’s a fair concern, but Google Glass is not a spying tool. It sits above the eye, not in front of it. To use it, I looked somewhat up. If I want a spy tool, put it right in front of my eye, so I can look at the person I’m talking to, while filming someone else. – Mashable

Okay, it is more than a fair concern, it is a serious concern for many parents, in my opinion.  These are the concerns that parents need to be worried about and with this we go back to the article in ZDNET:

While I believe that lots of adult venues are going to ban the glasses outright, the issue of kids being captured with them is going to be a driver of the public reaction to this technology. It’s probably going to cause ordinances passed in many places prohibiting having Google Glasses anywhere in sight. Businesses will start bans first, and I expect amusement parks and Chuck E. Cheese will be some of the first as well. – ZDNet

Let me leave this with another thought.  Google Glass also has another feature it boasts about.  All those great pictures and videos it takes (whether you are expecting them or not) can be instantly shared on a Google+ account, but is that always secure?   Just recently an article was published about a 16-year-old girl that had her 300+ photo’s lifted from her Smartphone and loaded into a Google+ account of a complete stranger – he definitely wasn’t expecting it.  I wonder if his account was set on private.

Google Glass, it looks like it will be the future for those that can afford it and at approximately $1500.00 I would assume many people will find a way to purchase it.  The problem will be how they will be using it.

Like a most technical devices, it isn’t the tool, it is the person learning to use it responsibly that we need to be concerned about.  Unfortunately I have seen too many victims of cyber bullying, cyber stalkers, internet predators, and other forms of cyber crimes.  I hope that Google Glass comes with some guidelines and that people handle them with care and respect for others privacy.

With the recent news and media on Google Glass, the word and concern is getting out.   On May 3, 2013 a petition was formed to Ban Google Glass from use in the USA until clear limitations are placed to prevent indecent public surveillance.

A final thought I would especially like parents to think about is what happens when this Glass is put into the hands of unsavory individuals that wander our parks, libraries, and buses—the same places our children often can be found?

This is only my opinion and I do hope parents take the time to learn more about Google Glass.













Sue Scheff is the Founder of Parents' Universal Resource Expert, Inc (P.U.R.E.) and published author of Wit's End! Advice and Resources for Saving Your Out-of-Control Teen and Google Bomb! http://www.helpyourteens.com/index.php

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