Google Glass chief: “You’ll know” when someone is spying on you

The product director fails to allay privacy concerns with his comments about the computer headsets

Topics: Google, google glass, Privacy, Surveillance, Spying, , ,

Google Glass chief: "You'll know" when someone is spying on youAn early prototype of Google's futuristic Internet-connected glasses (AP)

With comments during a developer conference, Google Glass product director Steve Lee did little to assuage privacy concerns around the wearable device. Responding to questions about how one would know if one were being surveilled by a Google Glass wearer, Lee said “you’ll know.” As Gizmodo’s Jamie Condliffe commented, “it’s a pretty shaky privacy argument.” On Thursday, a bipartisan Congressional privacy caucus sent Google a letter with questions about how privacy will be protected by Google Glass. Lee’s conference remarks will not sate privacy advocates, understandably concerned about the proliferation of wearable devices, brought to you by the tech giant that stores vast troves of individuals’ personal data. But, Lee said of the headsets:

 You’ll know when someone with Glass is paying attention to you. If you’re looking at Glass, you’re looking up… If I’m recording you, I have to stare at you — as a human being. And when someone is staring at you, you have to notice. If you walk into a restroom and someone’s just looking at you — I don’t know about you but I’m getting the hell out of there.

Natasha Lennard

Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email

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