Is Google Glass Bad for Society?

In case you haven’t heard about the “next big thing”, it’s here. Google Glass will revolutionize our world in the same way that the cell phone or the internet did when they each appeared on the scene but is that really a good thing?

The glasses which are estimated to cost $1500 initially will allow you to record video, send text messages, search the web and get directions from a lightweight device that you wear on your head. You can see a demo of this impressive technology on the Google Glass site.

These glasses will change how we interact with people on a fundamental level. This new technology could be leveraged to give you insights that you wouldn’t normally have and in doing so will change how you react and interact with people around you. For example, with these glasses on, it isn’t hard to imagine a future where the person you are looking at is scanned and all of their information appears about them. Google already allows you to search their databases for images with an image. You are in a bar, walk over to someone you are interested in and their face appears in your glasses. Google goes to work and in seconds you have their personal information, Google +, LinkedIn and Facebook accounts, images they are tagged in, perhaps directions to their house? Sound creepy? Can you imagine the privacy implications now? MIT has already begun developing imaging software that can allow you to see someones pulse under their skin so is this too far fetched?

What about schools and testing? New rules will have to be written about when the use of these glasses is allowed because you can record video. What about driving in the car? What if you are in the locker room at your gym changing and someone walks in with a pair of the Google glasses on, would you feel comfortable? With this technology, anyone can become a spy and if you thought the Paparazzi were bad now wait until everyone in the world is recording everything they see and do.

Where does all of this information go? It goes to Google. What does Google use it for? Nobody knows right now, but the more information stored about your private life, the less private anyone’s life is. By wearing these glasses, we take the hard work of surveilling a society away from the powers that be and gladly wear it on our head for them. Google, unsurprisingly is trying to market these glasses in a way that appears they want to replace everyone’s cell phone. Sergey Brin, the founder of Google in contrasting Google glass to cell phones says:

I feel like it’s kind of emasculating…. You’re standing there just rubbing this featureless piece of glass

How does this affect the prepper? Let’s say you have been prepping for a while and you have stored up 30 days worth of food and water. You have taken care of security by purchasing a firearm to defend yourself and your family and now you have some money to blow so you want to buy a pair of Google Glasses. “No way am I paying $1500” you say, but the price will come down. Just look at the price of big screen LCD TV’s now. You can get a monster TV for less than $1000 at any big box store. As you strap your new glasses to your head, you have just signed on to help in the surveillance engine. Actually, you are paying them for the opportunity to help.

A lot of preppers like to stay off the grid as much as humanly possible. You pay cash for everything, avoid social media, and generally try to stay out of public databases like Facebook, MySpace and Google +. Once everyone is walking around with these glasses on, you won’t have the option of staying off the grid anymore. Everyone walking around is going to be taking video which could be loaded and tagged quickly to YouTube. You won’t be able to have privacy anywhere outside of your house.

Let’s say you don’t care about privacy and you welcome your first pair of Google Glasses. What about the health implications of wearing a cell phone device on your head all day everyday? Studies have already shown a link to cell phones and brain cancers. Surely this would be much safer, right?

Without knowing what the future holds, it is difficult to say with certainty what may happen with this technology, but looking back to recent history, it’s easy to see a dark and sinister path ahead.

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  1. Great article. Just thought I would mention that the google glass headset does not have a cell radio from what I read. It can only connect to your phone’s cell network through bluetooth. So hopefully this would not have the cancer implication or the ability to upload video to Google when not connected to your phone.

    1. Thank you for the comment Prepper!

      Yes, that should be less of a direct impact in terms of the cell transmitter and proximity if Bluetooth is in fact safer. Without trying to sound too paranoid, we have been told a lot of things in our environment are safe only to find out later they aren’t. The opposite is also true. Scientists and Doctors warn about too many eggs or coffee as an example and then later recant that advice. I know this is slightly different.

      As technology goes I try to err on the side of less is better and no matter how safe, we are still talking about electromagnetic interference in close proximity to our bodies on a continual basis. This technology might be completely safe and hopefully that is the case. Time will tell.

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