Legal Implications on Google Glass: What are they, and how to fix them?


Participate in the comments. Tell your scenario that can create a legal or social implication on Google Glass, and how to fix them.

I guess all of us on The Verge saw Josh trying out Google Glass for the first time, and letting us all envy him for putting them on. There is no denying that Google Glass is a true innovation, as much as I hate that word nowadays, but it's true for this product. Google Glass is going to change the face of personal computing and how we interact and integrate the internet into our lives more than ever. However, having some thoughts about it, Google Glass could face some serious rejection from the general public.

At an expected price of $1500, it's a far reach. Of course, this isn't a problem at all, because Google is targeting this as a niche product. Even if it comes down to $500, it would still be expensive. The price isn't an issue. Legalizing such a product will be though.

So here are 3 scenarios I can think of that can be a serious issue, and governments/institutions will probably take an action against:

1) Public photography: Of course, all of us thought about this. Google Glass is going to revolutionize how easily we take photos and videos. This is going to be the recording tool for many people, to record their lives and having precious moments with their loved ones; at least that's what Google wants us to do with Glass. However, I think we're all wondering about the privacy concerns this can create. People are going to use them as spy tools, and other things that can be worse. Privacy is an huge issue here, and there will be some negative reaction towards it. A bar in Seattle has already banned it, and I wouldn't be too surprised if some states or even countries banning it completely. You just can't let the general public take pictures so easily, and so secretly, like this. Our lives have been built around privacy, and this invades it. But I personally think a fix for such a problem can be easy: Put a bright red recording LED on the thing, so people can be alarmed that you're recording.

2) Using Glass while driving: Governments keep telling us how we shouldn't lose focus while driving, and ban almost anything that could distract us from driving. Texting and driving has proven to be extremely dangerous, and car manufacturers are adapting to this kind of danger, as some cars can cut off cellular connectivity while you're driving. You might think that Google Glass can actually help in this area, as people can keep both hands on the steering wheel and use Glass. But as we've seen in the videos, everything on Glass is laid on the top right of our eyesight, so you actually have to focus away from where you are looking on the road to look at the Glass cards. This is probably going to be very distracting for the driver. Even Google somewhat acknowledges this, because in their promo ad (@1:07), you see the passenger operating Glass (Google Maps in this case), and not the driver. So what are our governments going to do about this? Ban people from wearing it while driving? And what if someone is wearing it as prescription glasses? We don't know how the government is going to react until it becomes public and gets popular in the eyes of people. However, I propose a solution to Google, which they can lock the function of Glass while someone is driving the car (detect using GPS).

3) Cheating in exams: Around the globe, cheating in exams is a known phenomena. It's a fact, and some students are simply geniuses at it. Technology has helped in this area, too. And Google Glass is going to take this further into action, because it holds the entire internet in your eyesight, without anyone noticing. So this surely creates a problem, and education institutions will probably have some law to ban it inside classrooms, or during exams. But since Google Glass is mostly an internet-based product that relies on tethering to your smartphone or access WiFi, schools and colleges could just block the cellular signal inside the classrooms or only during an exam.

Google Glass is probably a product that is coming ahead of its time. We've built our lives around laws and privacy, and Google Glass clearly bends some of those. It's a product that should live in a world free of rules and social guides, but I think governments and the general public are just not ready for that yet.

Participate in the comments. Tell your scenario that can create a legal or social implication on Google Glass, and how to fix them.

Just for kicks, here are two videos of Google Glass: