Internet giant Google is set to face a battle with Australian privacy regulators when it releases its hotly anticipated Google Glass product as federal and state commissioners raise the alarm about covert filming and security implications.
The latest in wearable technology, to be released by the year’s end, gives wearers of the glasses an internet connection and a camera that can record video and audio of everything the wearer sees.
Gadget fans have been eagerly anticipating the launch of Glass since photos emerged of Google founder Sergey Brin sporting a pair. But privacy advocates are seeking explanations from the company about how the devices comply with surveillance legislation.
Federal privacy commissioner Timothy Pilgrim told The Australian Financial Review he could see the potential benefits of new wearable communications technology like Google Glass, but was concerned about the implications for personal privacy once it was combined with other readily available technology.
He said he has made a request for a briefing from Google, in which he expects the company to give more information on the product, and address its methods for minimising privacy concerns.
“Along with benefits, these technologies also present a number of potential risks to privacy, especially when combined with other emerging technologies like facial recognition and augmented reality,” Mr Pilgrim said.
“At this early stage, the full implications of this technology, such as how people will use it, and for what purposes, are unclear.[which is why] I have requested a briefing from Google.”