Eroding Privacy? Blame Humans, Not Google Glass

They existed long before this tech: Whitney Erin Boesel

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted May 19, 2014 11:58 AM CDT

(Newser) – Now that anyone can buy Google Glass, we're sure to see an increase in the number of "Glassholes" roaming the streets, taking pictures of people without their consent. And many people will likely decry Google Glass, as we've decried other technological advances before, claiming it's to blame for our eroding privacy rights. But that's not the case, writes Whitney Erin Boesel for Time. Google Glass brings attention to a problem—but that problem already existed long ago. It's simply easier to blame Google Glass than to confront the "real issues," she writes.

People were taking "creepshots," usually of women, without their consent long before Google Glass came along—and such photographs "will continue to be a problem until we deal with the much bigger problem of why anyone would take a creepshot in the first place," Boesel writes. But figuring out the answer to that "why" is complicated, and it's easier to blame Google Glass than to confront "American culture’s deeply entrenched sexism and misogyny" and "problems of power and privilege." The same concept applies to the "vast troves of information" Google, Facebook, the NSA, and others are collecting on us—banning Google Glass wouldn't solve that problem either. It's time "to ask hard questions about what kind of a society we want to live in." Click for Boesel's full column.

In this Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013, file photo, Google co-founder Sergey Brin wears Google Glass in San Francisco.
In this Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013, file photo, Google co-founder Sergey Brin wears Google Glass in San Francisco.   (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)
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