Feeds

Google 'disappoints' US congressman over Glass privacy controls

'You have displeased us, Mr. Page' says Barton

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Google's response to privacy concerns expressed by US legislators over its Glass headmounted hardware is "disappointing," according to Representative Joe Barton (R-TX). The Chocolate Factory needs to give consumers more privacy choices, he says.

"There were questions that were not adequately answered and some not answered at all," Barton said. "Google Glass has the potential to change the way people communicate and interact. When new technology like this is introduced that could change societal norms, I believe it is important that people’s rights be protected and vital that privacy is built into the device."

In May, congressional leaders wrote to Google expressing concerns over the privacy implications of Glass, suggesting that there should be controls in place to make sure images and video aren't taken without consent, and that facial recognition technology isn't overbearing.

In its response, Google said that Glass wasn't using facial recognition technology and no such apps are being approved at this time. Taking a photo or video requires a spoken command, the company said, which (as with mobile phones) makes it easy to tell when someone is recording.

All files recorded by Glass are deletable by users, Google said, and the company keeps a tight lock on APIs for apps that might be deemed to cross the privacy line. It is also banning resale of the headsets to ensure that private information isn't transferred, and the headsets can be remotely wiped if lost or stolen.

On Monday, Google also updated the firmware of the device to improve the voice and search controls, and to allow web-page manipulation via finger controls. These additions are in keeping with the privacy stipulations Google laid out in its letter.

Rep. Barton doesn't say what exactly he is unhappy about in Google's response, but it's clear he would like more answers. Then again, given he thinks the Bible offers proof of non-manmade climate change, scientific analysis may be a little beyond him.

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
All aboard the Poo Bus! Ding ding, route Number Two departing
Only another three days of pooing and I can have a ride!
Official: European members prefer to fondle Apple iPads
Only 7 of 50 parliamentarians plump for Samsung Galaxy S
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Space Commanders rebel as Elite:Dangerous kills offline mode
Frontier cops an epic kicking in its own forums ahead of December revival
Nexus 7 fandroids tell of salty taste after sucking on Google's Lollipop
Web giant looking into why version 5.0 of Android is crippling older slabs
Dragon Age Inquisition: Our chief weapons are...
Bioware's fantasy forces in fine fettle
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.