Will Google Glass face adoption challenges due to privacy concerns?

Moderated by Lawrence Dignan | April 29, 2013 -- 07:00 GMT (00:00 PDT)

Summary: Everyone seems to have an opinion about Google's ground-breaking product.

Jason Perlow

Jason Perlow

It sure will

or

Should but won't

Ben Woods

Ben Woods

Best Argument: Should but won't

75%
25%

Audience Favored: It sure will (75%)

Closing Statements

Potential for abuse is virtually unlimited

Jason Perlow

Google Glass will make some sort of industry impact in 2014. Whether that is strictly with early adopters, "prosumers" or use in vertical markets, this is difficult to say. It's also hard to tell this early whether or not the product is acceptable in its current form given the limitations it has in terms of battery life and how it might be monetized by 3rd-party developers.

What is certain however, is that there is a nearly universal negative reaction to the life-logging and stealth recording capabilities of the device, and regardless of how cheap Google Glass eventually costs due to efficiency improvements in mass production, it's obnoxious and invasive at any price and its potential for abuse by the ethically challenged and sociopaths among us is virtually unlimited.

 

The privacy argument won't.stop Glass

Ben Woods

The arguments against Google Glass's success are obvious: it violates privacy and it's too expensive.

Arguments on the basis of cost are practically void - one thing that you can bank on with technology is that over time, the cost of most devices will fall, and the technology under the hood in Glass doesn't seem anything too special, so there's no reason to think it will keep its currently ultra-premium price tag.

Google Glass is not the only product that will be released in the next few years that will bring up similar questions about whether or not it violates our collective privacy in a way that can't be tolerated.

The privacy argument would be the best chance to stop Glass in its tracks, but it won't. People are already far too tied in to using free services in exchange for their personal information to even notice it and for those who would put up that objection, the time to complain is getting ever smaller - once Glass is here in numbers, it's not going away.

Privacy doesn't matter

Lawrence Dignan

As much as I think there might be privacy concerns about Google Glass, it's hard to buy the argument that the concerns will derail the product. Ben Woods' argument largely revolved around this: Privacy doesn't matter in the end. Jason Perlow made his case and the crowd went with him. But in the end, privacy doesn't matter. Ben gets the win.

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79 comments
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  • Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3-inch phablet

    This just seams to be a mid-range phone with a large screen, more of a budget phablet with a few missing features. Not very Mega under the hood I expected more from a phone this size.
    Stephen McQuarrie
    Reply Vote I'm Undecided
  • Ultimately, it's up to market, but I do have my doubts.

    Ultimately, it's up to market, but I do have my doubts.

    And it's not really having to do much with privacy.

    Okay, so we, as power users and technology enthusiasts, love the idea of the wearable computer, and this type of device is basically the essence of that.

    However - does geeking out really guarantee that it'll be common with the masses?

    Not really. Some devices make it big (iPhone), wile others don't (flying car). Just because somebody used it in a Sci-Fi movie doesn't mean it's the next big hit.

    I'm not yet convinced this is the next big thing. We'll see, but it better work exceptionally well and offer fantastic benefits.

    Now, to address the primary issue, we have two questions:

    (1) Should privacy issues be a reason for people to stop buying it?
    and
    (2) Will privacy issues prevent people from buying it?

    The answer to (1) is rather subjective, and may vary depending on the situation. One can imagine situations where having a camera is extremely helpful (the gov't tracking down the Boston bombing suspects), as well as extremely harmful (a criminal organization stalking a victim).

    So - (1) really has no ultimate answer, although when in doubt I'd say privacy should be upheld.

    So, since I'd err on the side of privacy, I'll say "it should."

    The answer to (2) is probably not. Will there be people who will refuse to buy because of privacy issues? Yes. Will they be the majority? Unlikely. If social media is any indication, most people don't have "privacy" at the top of their list, even if perhaps it should.

    So - I guess that means I'm under "should but won't."

    That being said - I don't wonder if this is really gonna take off, or if it'll just wind up being another tech toy. "It comes from the minds of futurists and sci-fi writers" has never been proven to be a big indicator of the success of an item.
    CobraA1
    Reply Vote I'm for Should but won't
    • Privacy concerns won't be a reason that will stop people from buying these

      1) Should privacy issues be a reason for people to stop buying it?

      Why? It's not the purchaser's privacy that is being exploited. The camera sees everyone and everything but the wearer.

      (2) Will privacy issues prevent people from buying it?

      No, because as I mentioned in another article in reference to these, the people this appeal to won't value other's social values as they don't unstand them, given they aren't truely "social people" themselves.
      William Farrel
      Reply 2 Votes I'm Undecided
      • You refer to a small audience.

        "Why? It's not the purchaser's privacy that is being exploited."

        It doesn't matter. In (1) I'm talking about "should," not "would." Every moral belief system I've run across has some form of "do unto others as you would do unto yourself." There is no widely recognized system of moral beliefs that declares that you should do everything selfishly, with no consideration for others.

        "because as I mentioned in another article in reference to these"

        Which I didn't read, as I don't follow you.

        "the people this appeal to won't value other's social values as they don't unstand them, given they aren't truely 'social people' themselves."

        Well, you're making some assumptions as to the types of people this would appeal to. Which is hard to say for sure for a product that has not seen the mass market.

        The people you are referring to is a small minority, so if the glasses only appeal to them, then I'd say the glasses are gonna fail.
        CobraA1
        Reply Vote I'm Undecided
        • Sorry, I tought you had responded to the post i referenced

          "because as I mentioned in another article in reference to these"

          My bad.

          And I hopet follow me. If you do, please don't do it with Google Glasses. :)
          William Farrel
          Reply Vote I'm Undecided
          • Bring back the edit button

            And I hope you don't follow me. If you do, please don't do it with Google Glasses. :)
            William Farrel
            Reply Vote I'm Undecided
        • Now, back to the reply

          I'm talking should also, but I just don't see that happening, not right off the bat. People should respect other's wishes, but today some don't seem to. It will take others to force that issue to the forefront, and then glasses will drop off.

          A small group doesn't understand "social" in the sense of social gatherings. We gather with a select group of people to talk and enjoy the day. The people that these will cater to are the ones that don't understand the concept that if the people at the other end of the glasses weren't invited, then why are you transmitting that.

          Also, if the people at the other end of the glasses are more important then the group you're with, then why would we invite you?

          So yes, I believe that those that understand the concept of social will not see much of a use for a "social media device" like Google glasses.
          William Farrel
          Reply Vote I'm Undecided
        • re: You refer to a small audience.

          > There is no widely recognized system of
          > moral beliefs that declares that you should
          > do everything selfishly, with no
          > consideration for others.

          Widely, maybe not. But a small but influential group follow Ayn Rand, specifically, the Republican Party. I know that reading Rand is a condition of employment in Paul Ryan's office.
          none none
          Reply Vote I'm Undecided
          • The Republican party did not borrow her ethics, just her politics.

            "But a small but influential group follow Ayn Rand, specifically, the Republican Party."

            Her philosophy of objectivism was likely influential to scientific thinking, and her politics of individual rights and capitalism are found in the Republican party, but her idea of ethics didn't take hold so much, as her ethics is in conflict with Christian ethics, and Christian ethics are currently dominant in the Republican party.

            Note: When I refer to the Republican party, I am generally speaking about the Republican party in the USA.

            So yes, I stand by my statement. The Republican party did not borrow her ethics, just her politics.
            CobraA1
            Reply Vote I'm Undecided
          • reThe Republican party did not borrow her ethics, just her politics.

            No, sir. One's politics are informed by one's ethics. They are inseparable.
            none none
            Reply Vote I'm Undecided