Published: May 22, 2013
We all live in a virtual idea that we actually have any sort of privacy. I think in the following years, our lives are going to be more open and transparent then ever (and unfortunately even if we like it or not). Lets enjoy those last moments. If we do something bad, we will be on record by tens of different devices. Not only iPhones, but tons of users commanding their glasses to “OK Glass, start recording”, and all mutually starting to record the event in a split second, if not recording automatically (hello government organizations, that I am sure in the US will have some sort of option to get in during a “critical event”).
Some people and governments and privacy organizations tend to think that this might even be a bad thing, the US politicians event sent Google some request for more information to clarify details on privacy (more information on BBC), but the real question here is if its not already the case. Some people are generally freaked out by the fact that in a city like New York with 10 million people, 1 million people wearing glass, or even significantly less could pretty much record every second of every day covered by so many angles. Now the question is and everyone seems to be leaning to the fact: “This is a bad thing.” I agree privacy is important, and it is to many people (especially to feel control of it). I even know some people that really want to stay offline, and they want their digital footprint to be minimal or non-existant, some of those people even close to me. But is this even possible? Even though you will be a passive user of some of these services, I believe the world will find a way of collecting data on everyone, one way or the other. How much data do you think your bank, credit card company, telecom company has on you, and how are they using it today?
Most important point of all: Is it REALLY a bad thing? When I look at things I always weigh the positive and negative side. There has been enough written about the negative sides of privacy, but lets look at the bright side of it – the OPEN side. Companies more open, more oriented towards customers (companies that are Socially Devoted, as we have defined at Socialbakers), this makes companies better in general. The other side is people, it will be hard for a criminal to got away with anything, if anyone would be watching and something huge happened say like Boston, I believe everyone would not mind to become the living eyes of the police at that moment, as they were trying to find the attacker.
As Mark Zuckerberg once said, privacy is a relatively new concept. Its been around for a couple hundred years, maybe 1 – 2 000 years. Before that, we, we lived in packs of 150 people, guarded our fire, and everyone knew everything about everyone around them. At that time, they didn’t care about privacy, we do today. We guard it, we help it, we hide it, but why really?
My opinion is:
- If a company wants more data about me, and it lets me know, I always approve.
- If someone is collecting data about me, I hope its only right, and they use it to better target ads, I don’t mind that. More targeted advertising means a more relevant message to me.
- I get that advertising is a model how to make money and keep some services like Google and Facebook relatively for free. I understand and I am willing to share more details for them staying free – people very often do not get this
- People should have the right to opt-out of these services, basically say: “Unsubscribe”, or even “Take me out”, but at the same time have to understand, that generally on the internet as a whole, this concept is gone. If someone (individual) will want you to be there, you will be there.
So bottom line, getting back to Google Glass – I think politicians and people are talking too much about privacy. We ultimately all care we are safe more than we do about our privacy, security is above the need for privacy on the pyramid of our needs. In the end, in 5 years time, I think we will all be wearing them and not even thinking about the fact that we have them. Yes, it used to be special to have a mobile phone with a camera, there was big fuss about using the phone camera in many places, it got banned in soo many places. It will of course get restricted, you might even be asked to take them off, but in general, I don’t believe it will be a big issue.
P.S.: If anyone from Google is reading it, I want my Google Glasses!