Google CEO Larry Page has again moved to reassure consumers over the privacy implications of Google Glass. Speaking at the company's annual shareholder meeting, Page told investors that privacy fears will fade as people begin to integrate wearable technology into their lives, noting "it is not that big a concern." Comparing Glass use to taking a photo or video on a smartphone, the Google chief said "you don't collapse in terror that someone might be using Glass in the bathroom just the same as you don't collapse in terror when someone comes in with a smartphone that might take a picture." Ironically, Google banned Glass and other photographic equipment from the meeting.
In the past month, Google has been forced to address numerous privacy concerns surrounding Glass, which have grown louder since it was introduced last year. In May, the company clarified that the device was built to alleviate concerns before it even shipped and said it will not approve apps with facial recognition features — although it left open the possibility that such features may be allowed in the future. Congress also wrote a letter to Page asking the CEO to clear up whether Glass "could infringe on the privacy of the average American."
"It is not that big a concern."
"Obviously, there are cameras everywhere," Page said at the meeting, as he polled attendees on how many of them owned a smartphone capable of taking photos. The difference with Glass is that it requires its owner to stare at the subject — resulting in some potentially awkward situations.