I always feel like somebody's watching me: The effect of wearable cameras
Erin Lodi | Published: Mar 28, 2013 at 17:42 UTC127
With Google's Project Glass officially announcing the winners of its Glass Explorers beta testing program yesterday, it seems we're that much closer to actually seeing Google's wearable, interactive camera move from the realm of possibility to everyday reality.
Other "lifeblogging" cameras are also coming closer to fruition: Memoto's GPS-equipped camera automatically captures two 5MP geotagged photos a minute and expects to begin shipping by May. We're also waiting on Autographer, another 5MP wearable camera that uses an array of built-in sensors to take pictures automatically triggered by changes in its environment.
In advance of this brave new world in which we'll all be more widely recorded, some futurists are raising the red flag of caution. If everyone is wearing a constantly recording, super subtle camera, what are the implications for personal privacy, the law and our own safety?
Will we ever be able to keep a secret again? Could "lifelog" data be subpoenaed? Martin Bryant at The Next Web has recently taken the time to explore some worst-case scenarios we felt were worth sharing again.
Bryant asks if the new technology will force us to be more closely guarded in our words and actions, pointing out that today's “don’t tweet that” warning during a conversation could well become “don’t Glass this.”
What types of business and public buildings may ban wearable cameras? We can certainly predict art galleries won't want an entire collection recorded, and such tech could feel uncomfortable while you're trying to unwind in your local pub. Seattle dive bar 5 Point Cafe may be ahead of the curve in its publicity-seeking proposal to ban Google Glass from its seedy surroundings where, according to owner Dave Meinert, customers come for a degree of anonymity.
And while a politician in West Virginia has already proposed a bill banning the use of "a wearable computer with a head-mounted display" (i.e. Google Glass) while driving, Bryant takes this line of thinking far further by considering larger implications of wearable tech and the law, including its potential for fighting crime and for providing the perfect alibi.