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Congress Demands Answers From Google Over Google Glass Privacy Concerns

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the do-any-of-you-know-what-a-smartphone-is dept.

Google 201

Today eight members of the U.S. Congress have sent a letter to Google's Larry Page, asking him to address a number of privacy concerns about Google Glass. In the letter (PDF), they brought up the company's notorious Street View data collection incident, and asked how the company was planning to avoid a similar privacy breach with Glass. They also ask how Google is going to build Glass to protect the privacy of non-users who may not want their every public move to be recorded. Further, they ask about the security of recordings once they are made: "Will Google Glass have the capacity to store any data on the device itself? If so, will Google Glass implement some sort of user authentication system to safeguard stored data? If not, why not?" Google has until July 14th to respond.

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At Google Conference, Cameras Even in the Bathroom (0)

mystikkman (1487801) | about a year ago | (#43755475)

At Google Conference, Cameras Even in the Bathroom

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/17/at-google-conference-even-cameras-in-the-bathroom/ [nytimes.com]

Re:At Google Conference, Cameras Even in the Bathr (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43755841)

So you're telling me to beware when somebody stands at next urinal, stares at my dick and winks?..

Yeah, I thought that was pretty much a given.

I would love it if (5, Funny)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | about a year ago | (#43755477)

I would love it if Google responded back stating that it infringes no more than the government already does.

Re:I would love it if (4, Insightful)

mystikkman (1487801) | about a year ago | (#43755517)

You can vote out the government, atleast theoretically, or move outside its jurisdiction. No such luck with people wearing Google Glass all around you in public, in the office, even the bathroom stalls at Google I/O.

Re:I would love it if (3, Interesting)

morcego (260031) | about a year ago | (#43755615)

You can vote out the government, atleast theoretically, or move outside its jurisdiction. No such luck with people wearing Google Glass all around you in public, in the office, even the bathroom stalls at Google I/O.

If everyone else, or the majority of people, is wearing them, how is that different from voting? It is exactly the same principle.
I'm sure it take more people to make a Google product like this viable than it takes to elect a senator.

It is "the democracy of the wallet".

Notice: for people who will say that your privacy will be violated even if the majority is not using it, read again my second phrase about electing a senator.

Re:I would love it if (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#43756419)

If everyone else, or the majority of people, is wearing them, how is that different from voting? It is exactly the same principle.

Its not even remotely the same principal, and you know it. Stop trolling.

Voting for the lesser of two evils because you need someone in Congress is not even close to giving every random visitor to your store, or office, or home, the right to record everything that you have, say, or do in these places.

As soon as we get over this false idea that giving up privacy in public places protects us from crime we will no longer tolerate being monitored 24/7.

But until that happens there is STILL no reason to grant the right to monitor and record everyone/everything to whoever can plop down $500 for Google Glass.

Re:I would love it if (3, Insightful)

spire3661 (1038968) | about a year ago | (#43755685)

Google Glass is merely the public facing tip of a very large iceberg. Wearable cameras arent going away.

Re:I would love it if (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43755737)

Yep, very soon our every move will be monitored. Not much we can do about that, but we could legalize drugs, gambling, and prostitution so that most people have nothing to hide, and we no longer create black markets for desirable items. We'd also stop treating peaceful people as criminals.

Re:I would love it if (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43756119)

Lots of people around with wearable cameras is bit unsettling as a privacy issue... but it is nothing compared to lots of people around with wearable cameras sending images/videos to a single company's servers. The privacy issue with Glass is not lots of cameras, it's that all of the images/videos that Glass records go directly to Google who has the resources to store and analyze all of them.

Re:I would love it if (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43756193)

Then you can rest easy because they don't work that way.

Re:I would love it if (0)

DCFusor (1763438) | about a year ago | (#43755989)

Last I checked the US gov can and does kill people with drones anyplace on earth it suits them. You can't move that far away. You can only vote for one of a set of two chosen, pre-vetted clowns in any election for a seat that has any power. Dream on....

Re:I would love it if (2)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about a year ago | (#43756049)

Drone strikes aren't any place.

They're any place that won't shoot back, either because they are unable or have agreed not to. Drone strikes in Yemen and Pakistan have to this point been done with the (sometimes secretive) consent of the host country.

If the US tried to launch drone strikes in Saudi or India or the like they might get one off, before the Saudi's or Indians started shooting the drones down.

You cannot vote out government (4, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year ago | (#43756025)

You can vote out the government

No, not even theoretically can you do that. All you can do is vote IN leaders, who MIGHT be able to make changes in government organizations... but the organizations are very entrenched, and have many levers to prevent the people voted in from making changes.

This is why it is such a bad idea to form any new government entities, because they exist only to keep existing and to exert more and more control.

Re:I would love it if (2)

bhagwad (1426855) | about a year ago | (#43755675)

Is Google even legally obligated to respond? Why? The product hasn't even been released yet. And as far as I know they're not breaking any laws. So why can't they tell Congress to go fuck themselves? Reply by July 14th...or what?

Re:I would love it if (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43755745)

Obligated to respond? No. It's probably in their best interest to, though. If they tick off Congress, that's nothing preventing Congress from passing a law that makes selling Google Glass illegal.

Re:I would love it if (1)

IntermodalAgain (2926007) | about a year ago | (#43756015)

This was from eight members of Congress. Eight. I don't see that Google has much to be worried about from 8 congressmen out of 435.

Re:I would love it if (4, Informative)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#43756163)

This was from eight members of Congress. Eight. I don't see that Google has much to be worried about from 8 congressmen out of 435.

Its a significant number of members of the Bipartisan Privacy Caucus [house.gov] . This organization aims to be out in front of privacy issues so that Congress is not caught flat footed when something like this crops up.

Google doesn't have to respond, the caucus does not have subpoena powers.
It would be utter stupidity if Google chose to blow these guys off.

Re:I would love it if (2)

IntermodalAgain (2926007) | about a year ago | (#43756291)

I'm unconvinced. You have a lot more confidence in Congress' ability to take action than I do. Especially on a topic that pretty much guarantees that a public brouhaha would end badly for congress. I can see the complaints now: "You nitpicked Google, but you approved the Patriot Act?" It seems pretty clear to me that the government has no credibility from which to try to advocate privacy without first starting from within. And frankly, I think we need products like Google Glass to ensure that more unanticipated events can be caught on camera. Cops abusing their power, transactions with lying customer service reps, and I recently had wait-staff who probably could have used this, etc. These are more important topics than whether someone gets a picture of you in the gym locker room.

Re:I would love it if (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#43756053)

Presumably "contempt of congress," a federal crime. Congressional inquiry is just a fancy way of saying "Bill of attainder" these days. Which is awful. The only time there was a serious attempt in congress to study something and get feedback that I can think of in the past couple decades was the 9/11 commission. And that was far from a success story.

Re:I would love it if (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#43756213)

No, not contempt of congress. The Bipartisan Privacy Caucus is just that, a caucus. It has no official subpoena power.

Re:I would love it if (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about a year ago | (#43756131)

Congress has lawful subpoena power in the US.

Failure to comply would be a contempt of congress

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contempt_of_Congress

The product hasn't even been released yet

Tell that to the thousands of people walking around with them. Not released to the general public, not released at a price for the general public, still in a prototype phase they are still in the wild and could pose a threat to public safety. Imagine if they had a serious risk of catching fire for example.

And as far as I know they're not breaking any laws

Congress can still compel them to provide anything they ask for as part of their powers to make laws.

Re:I would love it if (1)

bhagwad (1426855) | about a year ago | (#43756173)

So...if congress feels like it they have the legal power to call a person because they like the color of his tie? No appeal? No justification? No legal redress? I find that difficult to believe.

Re:I would love it if (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year ago | (#43756277)

That's all they can do. Put you up on a stand and make you answer silly questions. They can't shoot you. They can't even put you in jail (unless you don't show up, that's Contempt).

Besides, Washington is beautiful this time of year.

Re:I would love it if (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about a year ago | (#43756451)

No legal redress? I find that difficult to believe.

You are free to ignore a congressional subpoena and tell us about the experience.

It does go through the attorney general and a grand jury, so you can try and defend yourself though.

Hell froze over (3, Interesting)

SirGarlon (845873) | about a year ago | (#43755733)

My first thought when I read the summary was that hell had frozen over: Congress is thinking about privacy!

My second thought was that *Congress is thinking about privacy*. This can only be a good thing. I think we should encourage them, saying "you're on the right track, keep going that way" rather than being derisive.

Parent is right, government surveillance/data collection is a huge privacy issue. That does not mean it's the only privacy issue. It is easier for our inherently timid Congresscritters to start by pointing the finger outward from Washington, and I'm OK with that because it at least starts the policy discussion we so desperately need.

Re:I would love it if (1)

Lord Bitman (95493) | about a year ago | (#43755839)

I would love it if google responded by saying it infringes no more than eyeballs do.

Re:I would love it if (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43756129)

You Fail It.

Re:I would love it if (1)

Dins (2538550) | about a year ago | (#43756363)

I would love it if google responded by saying it infringes no more than eyeballs do.

Right, but when you walk past someone on the street now, you have a reasonable expectation that you're going to be seen by one set of eyeballs per person, not potentially millions.

Re:I would love it if (1)

Seumas (6865) | about a year ago | (#43756447)

That's the entire point of all of this. They just want to be sure that the government is the only one Google is invading the privacy of citizens on behalf of.

The devil you see vs. the devil you don't. (4, Insightful)

Mike Van Pelt (32582) | about a year ago | (#43755485)

Google Glass is visible, right there up on the wearer's face. What about all those cell phones that can do video recording, and can do that video recording right there from your shirt pocket, with no visible indication? Cameras are getting pretty small these days. Someone up to something nefarious, the camera lens is going to be one of his shirt buttons.

Re:The devil you see vs. the devil you don't. (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | about a year ago | (#43755703)

Why does it have to be nefarious? I have a real desire to be able to record everything i encounter if i desire. It opens up some very interesting possibilities It is not nefarious to collect photons in public.

Re:The devil you see vs. the devil you don't. (1)

HockeyPuck (141947) | about a year ago | (#43755771)

I think it would be pretty obvious if you were holding up a cell phone in the men's/women's restroom. It's a whole lot less obvious if you were wearing a pair of Google Glasses and wearing a baseball cap.

I do invite you to test our your theory of if being ok at the next Raider game at the Oakland Coliseum.

Please record what you want and then call 911 via VOIP.

Re:The devil you see vs. the devil you don't. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43755869)

But I don't need to hold it up. I could film most interesting bits by holding it in arm at my hip.

Those same bits I'd have to stare at with Google Glass. I thought it's not a common bathroom etiquette to stare at each other's privates, no?

Re:The devil you see vs. the devil you don't. (4, Insightful)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year ago | (#43755857)

Why does it have to be nefarious? I have a real desire to be able to record everything i encounter if i desire. It opens up some very interesting possibilities It is not nefarious to collect photons in public.

That depends how you define "public" since Google Glass may be worn in places that aren't traditionally "public" like restrooms, gym locker rooms, etc. I don't really care if you peek over from the next urinal and watch me pee, but that doesn't mean that I want you capture it with your glasses and post it to Youtube. Likewise if I hire a plumber to fix my leaky bathroom faucet, I'm fine with him snapping a few photos of the bathroom sink so he can get the right parts, but I don't want him using Google Glass to record everything in my house on his way to the bathroom which could be exploited (by him or someone who hacked his Glasses) to build a database of attractive theft targets along with a detailed map of everything of value in the house.

Cameras (even ubiquitous cell phone cameras) are a known risk and it's generally easy to see someone recording with their cell phone, but Google Glass becomes a "hidden in plain view" spy cam.

Re:The devil you see vs. the devil you don't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43755927)

... And so people who didn't do it before get intoxicated with The Privacy Invading Power and start filiming everything. Meanwhile, people with actual nefarious purposes stop buying hidden cams and surreptitiously record with cellphone sticking out of their t-shirt pocket or nonchalantly held in hand, opting instead for pretty darn expensive, clunky and visible gadget.

Re:The devil you see vs. the devil you don't. (2)

Shoten (260439) | about a year ago | (#43756071)

Why does it have to be nefarious? I have a real desire to be able to record everything i encounter if i desire. It opens up some very interesting possibilities It is not nefarious to collect photons in public.

That depends how you define "public" since Google Glass may be worn in places that aren't traditionally "public" like restrooms, gym locker rooms, etc. I don't really care if you peek over from the next urinal and watch me pee, but that doesn't mean that I want you capture it with your glasses and post it to Youtube. Likewise if I hire a plumber to fix my leaky bathroom faucet, I'm fine with him snapping a few photos of the bathroom sink so he can get the right parts, but I don't want him using Google Glass to record everything in my house on his way to the bathroom which could be exploited (by him or someone who hacked his Glasses) to build a database of attractive theft targets along with a detailed map of everything of value in the house.

Cameras (even ubiquitous cell phone cameras) are a known risk and it's generally easy to see someone recording with their cell phone, but Google Glass becomes a "hidden in plain view" spy cam.

I think the limiting factor here is the same as that for any video recording device, including the hidden ones that are much more subtle (and yet even better suited for the "bad" scenarios listed here). It's a simple lack of interest. You can buy a hidden camera...a very good one with a lot of capacity, in any number of form factors...for less than $100. They're available at Amazon, on Thinkgeek, and on a wide variety of other sites and shops. Yet you don't see many of them around, because honestly most people don't have an interest in recording wildly.

I wouldn't want a plumber recording everything in my house either...but more importantly, why would he, for that matter? First off, what about it would actually be interesting to him in the first place? Second, given the limited battery life of Google Glass and challenges of storing tons of data, it seems that there's actually a powerful disincentive for him to record indiscriminately. I think this is the flipside of Twitter mentality...people got so that they thought the world cares about them going to the bathroom, and now they're worried that people care about them going to the bathroom. But the truth (and the good news) is...they don't. :)

Re:The devil you see vs. the devil you don't. (2)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year ago | (#43756293)

I wouldn't want a plumber recording everything in my house either...but more importantly, why would he, for that matter? First off, what about it would actually be interesting to him in the first place? Second, given the limited battery life of Google Glass and challenges of storing tons of data, it seems that there's actually a powerful disincentive for him to record indiscriminately. I think this is the flipside of Twitter mentality...people got so that they thought the world cares about them going to the bathroom, and now they're worried that people care about them going to the bathroom. But the truth (and the good news) is...they don't. :)

The current generation of GG may be battery and power constrained, but future versions likely will not be. Once you have the ability to record everything and archive indefinitely, why wouldn't you just record everything just in case you want to refer to it later? Especially as image recognition and searching gets better, so it's easy to refer to something that's been recorded. The plumber might get a call from the homeowner a year after his last visit about their kitchen sink and the plumber can run a query like "Google: Show me the kitchen sink from the home on 1920 Sycamore St". And anyone who has access to the plumber's account could run a query like "Google: Show me all paintings from all houses visited in the past 6 months, ordered by estimated value"

Re:The devil you see vs. the devil you don't. (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#43756319)

The thing is, the camera is not even an integral part of google glass. Its more or less an afterthought add-on so you could share your vision with some distant person. But for most functions of Glass, its not necessary. With GPS and a compass the Glass could still show you real time maps and real time street view, and serve as a general purpose personal HUD.

There is no reason it need for Glass to even have a camera to be useful.
Your smartphone doesn't do this unless you overtly whip it out and take a picture. Yet your smartphone does just about everything Glass does.

Re:The devil you see vs. the devil you don't. (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year ago | (#43756397)

The thing is, the camera is not even an integral part of google glass. Its more or less an afterthought add-on so you could share your vision with some distant person. But for most functions of Glass, its not necessary. With GPS and a compass the Glass could still show you real time maps and real time street view, and serve as a general purpose personal HUD.

There is no reason it need for Glass to even have a camera to be useful.
Your smartphone doesn't do this unless you overtly whip it out and take a picture. Yet your smartphone does just about everything Glass does.

I think Google intends the camera to be an integral part of the Google Glass experience, or they'd just drop the camera which gets rid of the most controversial part of the device (distraction while driving is still a concern, but most people seem more concerned with its ability to surreptitiously take photos/video).

Re:The devil you see vs. the devil you don't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43755919)

> It is not nefarious to collect photons in public.

Congratulations, you win today's autism contest. Here's your gold sticker.

Re:The devil you see vs. the devil you don't. (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#43756065)

Yep. I'm recording people I meet all the time, with a low-fidelity camera called "memory." What privacy?

Re:The devil you see vs. the devil you don't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43756359)

Likewise, if I stab you to death for idiot then I'm just mixing the atoms of my blade with those of your body-

Dude, what the fuck?????

Re:The devil you see vs. the devil you don't. (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year ago | (#43755929)

"Someone up to something nefarious, the camera lens is going to be one of his shirt buttons."

You have been able to do that for over a decade now.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=button+hidden+camera [amazon.com]

They are dirt cheap now to the point that they are almost free. Back in the 90's they were $300-$400 but still readily available.

Turn the question around (5, Insightful)

FrankSchwab (675585) | about a year ago | (#43755507)

Can I ask Congress the same question about the US Governments data collection efforts?
  - How is the US Government going to protect the privacy of Citizens who may not want their every public move (phone call, email, etc ) to be recorded?
  - What about the security of the recordings that are made - Will the US implement some sort of user authentication system to safeguard stored data? If not, why not?

There's a whole sequence of questions that I'd much rather hear the answer to than similar questions about a dorky headpiece.

Re:Turn the question around (2)

zlives (2009072) | about a year ago | (#43755721)

answer to
1. by putting them in a safe,secure, offshore facility where they may roam free from cameras (just not free to roam).
2. yes, your data will be only accessible to secure corporate entities that pay to have access to it, we call it (National Strategy for Information Sharing and Safeguarding')

Re:Turn the question around (4, Interesting)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#43755897)

Good luck with that. Even if Congress goes to the trouble of answering it, much of the media, including social media, will likely down play it if it might reflect badly on the current administration.

Heard anything about this one?

IRS sued for improperly seizing the medical records of 10 million Americans [dailycaller.com]

It is just an adder to the growing pile.

The IRS Scandal, Day 8 [typepad.com]
Benghazi Emails Directly Contradict White House Claims [weeklystandard.com]
Congressman Paul Ryan on Benghazi, IRS, and DOJ Snooping the House: “Of course I’m troubled. Are you kidding?” [hughhewitt.com]

One of the interesting controversies regarding the MX missile was the plans for basing. One of the proposals was called "dense pack." The idea was that if you put a bunch of missile silos close to each other, attacking one silo with a nuclear warhead would result in so much turbulence, blast, and local radiation that if more warheads were arriving at the same time, they would be battered by the effects of the previously exploding nuclear warhead and be ineffective in attacking the silo they were targeted at. (No, I'm not kidding.) You might be seeing the political equivalent of that right now. There are so many scandals coming out of so many agencies, they compete for attention, confuse the public, allow the media to more or less squeeze them out, and attenuate the political damage. This could be one of those, "They are incompetent, insane, or brilliant" moments. I don't like much of any of what has been revealed, but I wouldn't place a bet on it having any lasting impact on the administration. Most of the media, minus AP, seems indifferent to being spied on, and you would expect that to rouse them if nothing else would. Apparently not.

Re:Turn the question around (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43756459)

+1 Insightful - if I hadn't used all my mod points up earlier.

Re:Turn the question around (2)

peppepz (1311345) | about a year ago | (#43756105)

A dorky headpiece that could soon be worn by millions of people, continuously taking billions of high resolution photos and video clips with precise date/time/gps locations, and sending all of that data to a single commercial entity whose business is to harvest and process personal data, with a track record of privacy stumbles, an extremely high computational capacity and already knowing lots of details about millions of persons including faces, names, email and street address, whole phone books, geographic locations.

Re:Turn the question around (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43756389)

Well then, good thing Glasses don't upload automatically.

For fuck's sake, if you'd stopp knee-jerking and just used basic math, it would tell you this is pretty much impossible today. Youtube states they now process 72 hours of video uploaded per minute. Just 2000 of Explorer limited issue glasses uploading constantly would mean 50% increase in needed capacity. "Millions of people" would mean 3 years worth of video uploaded _every minute_, and even commercial failure of 10-15 thousands sold would mean 3 or 4 extra Youtube datacenters built.

Grandstanding (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43755533)

Eight members of Congress on Thursday formally demanded that Google address a range of privacy concerns about its new wearable technology device, Google Glass.

Blah blah blah. Yadda yadda yah.

Give us some campaign contributions, and use of your private jets and we'll be gone - in the meantime, we'll use this to fool our constituents that we care.

Cynical? Yep.

Am I right? Yep.

Gut Reaction (4, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about a year ago | (#43755549)

There are valid questions to ask, but every time I see "congress demands answers" I imagine clowns piling out of a tiny car and want to root for the interrogated.

but how? (1)

skipkent (1510) | about a year ago | (#43755563)

How can the media and government put their spin on events when it is documented from various angles by several people?

Go Free Market (1)

DebianDog (472284) | about a year ago | (#43755565)

Maybe I missed the memo where I will be forced to wear these Cyborg looking glasses but, given the news coverage these things are getting, I have the feeling I did.

Re:Go Free Market (1)

Georules (655379) | about a year ago | (#43755647)

TFA mostly talks about what it's like being around other people wearing glass. Then, potentially taking pictures of you going to the bathroom -- perhaps even accidentally. No one is forcing you to wear it, but you may be an unwilling participant in the product's capabilities and Google's services.

No worries though, I'm sure google will just write in "private parts" detection, using all of those pictures as data to improve the detection over time. Pictures of you whizzing in the bathroom will be immortalized in an AI forever. Amazing!

Re:Go Free Market (1)

Georules (655379) | about a year ago | (#43755777)

Sorry about that, TFA from another slashdot post just a moment ago about Glass. Regardless, I think this point is valid.

Re:Go Free Market (2)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year ago | (#43755977)

TFA is mostly bullshit written from someone that did not even do a cursory search of information about the device. There is a big bright LED blaring at you if the camera is active. Only the blind will not know if the Google Glass is recording them.

But don't let reality and facts get in the way of everyones fearmongering.

Re:Go Free Market (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#43756123)

There is a big bright LED blaring at you if the camera is active.

Good thing LED's can't be covered up or disabled, right?

Re:Go Free Market (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43756191)

Unless the LED malfunctions. Or is able to be turned off.

But, hey, fuck the blind! I mean, they're blind right?!!?

Re:Go Free Market (1)

Georules (655379) | about a year ago | (#43756305)

Great, a big light so that I can confront the person who just took a picture of me going to the bathroom. Not to mention the photo has already been uploaded to Google during said awkward confrontation, and that pictures might not actually be deleted when you "delete" them.

Re:Go Free Market (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43756017)

the objection is against the glassholes that will wear it everywhere.

ugh (5, Insightful)

Huggs (864763) | about a year ago | (#43755589)

They only care because that means a individual may accidentally record them picking up a hooker or something else scandalous. If congress was somehow exempt from the decrease in privacy, they wouldn't give a rats behind.

Re:ugh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43755809)

Only because we still consider picking up a hooker scandalous. Once we legalize victim-less "crimes," this becomes something that's only an issue for anti-gay, gay Republicans who can't keep it in their pants and other hypocrites.

You're blaming the wrong person. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43756245)

The *senators* claim and clamour that picking up a hooker is scandalous.

Then go out and pick up a hooker. Male. With cocaine.Underage.

"WE" still don't, but the senators most likely to be doing so DO and they pander to the small but vocal and life-less (as in "has no life") who they rely on to vote them in no matter how batshit insane their actions are. When the gap between winning and losing is 3%, you don't need to pander to many fwits with "FAMILY VALUES!!!!!" bullshit to keep power. But that idiot demographic is still needed to keep power.

They should ask about health (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43755621)

Good they ask these questions, but my questions would be focused on the long term impact to a persons health.

Where are the health studies?

Re:They should ask about health (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43755727)

What possible health effects could there be?

We know cell phones don't cause any problems and we know glasses don't seem to cause any health problems, so I think this is pretty well already covered.

Re:They should ask about health (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43755875)

I think you forgot your sarcasm tag (?)

Re:They should ask about health (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43755991)

Why do you think that?

We have studied both of these extensively both in laboratory settings and in the real world. Not one reputable and repeatable study has ever shown any danger.

Re:They should ask about health (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#43756145)

What possible health effects could there be?

We know cell phones don't cause any problems and we know glasses don't seem to cause any health problems, so I think this is pretty well already covered.

Perhaps, but what about the health risks of having the shit kicked out of you by angry folks who, right or wrong, assume you're making recordings of their junk?

It'll happen, mark my words.

Re:They should ask about health (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43756197)

People are assaulted all the time. Hopefully those assailants will be found guilty and a civil suit can be used to recover damages.

That is about all we can expect from anything in life. There are folks who will assault you for wearing the wrong color shirt, or hat.

Re:They should ask about health (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#43756273)

People are assaulted all the time. Hopefully those assailants will be found guilty and a civil suit can be used to recover damages.

So, nothing to say about the criminal pervert secretly taking pictures of people's cocks? Some may find that philosophy telling...

FYI, some states, like the one I live in, have castle laws that deny other rights to those in the process of commissioning a crime. Thus, if a person is actively breaking the law by making illegal, lewd recordings of others, they will enjoy no such legal protections.

I would say, better to err on the safe side and take those stupid goggles off before entering a private area.

Re:They should ask about health (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43756351)

I find your belief that people will be doing that pretty telling. You seem very focused on the male genitalia photography opportunities. I think psychologists call that projecting.

I personally am not worried about it. I doubt anyone really wants pictures of flaccid wieners, and I think most people can tell if the recording light is on or off.

Hypocrisy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43755629)

Congress is only concerned about privacy when the potential violations are by non-government bodies or individuals.

Don't worry senator (1)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | about a year ago | (#43755631)

You will have the very same abilities to surreptitiously monitor and record in real-time the private lives of citizens as you would with any smartphone and most other mobile devices. Data is stored in the cloud and open for government intrusion while providing the theater privacy and security. If you don't bungle your public show feigned concern you shouldn't have anything to worry about from the voters on this issue. Now go back to your hookers and blow and leave your fingers out of it.

Way to be on the ball Congress. (3, Insightful)

spire3661 (1038968) | about a year ago | (#43755653)

Where were these questions when LEO and private businesses rolled out CCTV everywhere?????????

Re:Way to be on the ball Congress. (2)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#43756165)

Where were these questions when LEO and private businesses rolled out CCTV everywhere?????????

They didn't care, because there was little to no chance said CCTV apparatus would be pointed at them.

Considering the occasional "Senator caught soliciting gay sex in a public restroom" stories that pop up, I for one am not surprised.

Google Glasses, Tablets, Phones, News Cameras (1)

ShopMgr (1639595) | about a year ago | (#43755657)

Same capability, same questions, same answers. Up to the user... Maybe we need to go back to the old laws that require a person holding a lamp to walk in front of every horseless-carriage. It would stop speeding, hit and runs and a lot of accidents. In today's world if you don't want to be recorded, stay home! This has no relationship to the "Street View data collection incident" because that was Google. This is the individual who owns the video device doing the recording. They should be asking how Google plans on stopping their Android Operating System from being used by criminals. And to make sure that their OS isn't being used for illegal activities!!! OMFG

im shocked they have the time (3, Insightful)

nimbius (983462) | about a year ago | (#43755667)

between the benghazi conspiracy theory, the 37th repeal of healthcare reform, and the shitstorm over patriot groups applying for a form of charity that explicitly prohibits them from political activity its a wonder these guys can find a minute in the day to "write a letter to google" about their privacy concerns. its also kind of amazing because i didnt hear a fucking peep from most of these career policitians during the patriot act or warrantless wiretapping and im pretty fucking sure that involved a large telecommunications company. one question committee head Joe Barton is asking is:

When using Google Glass, is it true that this product would be able to use Facial Recognition Technology to unveil personal information about whomever and even some inanimate objects that the user is viewing? Would a user be able to request such information? Can a non-user or human subject opt out of this collection of personal data? If so, how? If not, why not?

Substitute "google glass" with "United States Law Enforcement" and you begin to see how fucking hypocritical this entire endeavor is

Re:im shocked they have the time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43756011)

I hate the term "patriot groups." As if there's anything remotely patriotic about the right-wing extremists that hate America.

Re:im shocked they have the time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43756021)

explicitly prohibits them from political activity

Lie by omission.

The real shitstorm (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year ago | (#43756089)

the shitstorm over patriot groups applying for a form of charity

The real shitstorm is over the IRS also sharing tax data from conservative groups with liberal groups.

If you are OK with that, good luck when Republicans eventually take power again...

Bass ackwards (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43755679)

Why is the government asking a private entity to protect citizens' privacy? Isn't that what legislators are for?

Privacy in public? (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43755713)

I think being in public means you are free to be recorded at all times. You can't enforce this without also enforcing every company take down their outside facing security cameras.

Re:Privacy in public? (2)

bobaferret (513897) | about a year ago | (#43755829)

You are correct. I actually carry around paper work in my camera bag for when I get hassled by the police or security guards, that spells out my rights. The ACLU has a page about it [aclu.org] , and I don't see why google glass would be any different.

Re:Privacy in public? (3, Insightful)

bobaferret (513897) | about a year ago | (#43755867)

Here's what might be a more useful link: The Photographer’s Right [krages.com]

Tape recorder vs glass (2)

minstrelmike (1602771) | about a year ago | (#43755715)

I'm trying to figure out what the actual legal issues are between google glass and a tape recorder or film camera.
Seems like the technology makes things appear more different than they really are. Taping or photoing people already has laws.
Posting it on the internet could be exactly the same as publishing in a paper if they want. Or not.
But there isn't anything new to discuss. It will be the same old discussion: why can I take a picture of anyone in public or a photo of a house from a drone aircraft but I cannot record the words they use unless they give me permission?

The current laws are totally screwed up. Google glass has nothing to do with that.

Beta (1)

ZombieBraintrust (1685608) | about a year ago | (#43755791)

They should just say. "Sorry we are not sure yet. Google Glass is still in Beta. We don't even know if this will be sold to the public. We will get back to you later"

They want to add them to their own surveillance (1)

turp182 (1020263) | about a year ago | (#43755799)

They just want the details so that can hack Google Glass wearers and add to their existing monitoring programs... Especially clear given the authentication questions.

The only time they care about privacy (1)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about a year ago | (#43755831)

Is when they think it has the potential to affect them directly.

I can't wait for the day (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43755885)

when Google glasses overtake Russian dashcam on YouTube.

Idiots and Morons... (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year ago | (#43755913)

Glad to see Congress worried about stupid crap instead of doing their jobs.

Good grief, The US government has turned onto a complete joke.

huh what? (1)

WillgasM (1646719) | about a year ago | (#43755951)

explain to me again the parallels between street view and glass. I think we'll avoid a similar privacy breach by not being even remotely the same thing.
Aside from that, we're talking about sticking a camera phone to your face. I don't think that really raises any new issues.

Re:huh what? (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#43756231)

explain to me again the parallels between street view and glass. I think we'll avoid a similar privacy breach by not being even remotely the same thing.
  Aside from that, we're talking about sticking a camera phone to your face. I don't think that really raises any new issues.

Street view cars can't go into restrooms or other 'public' places with a certain expectation of privacy.

That's my main bitch, and it's going to have to be solved culturally, not legislatively (especially considering it's already illegal to record in bathrooms).

Google breaching privacy? (2)

roninmagus (721889) | about a year ago | (#43756003)

Google glass takes pictures and videos. So what? So does my phone. I could walk down the street holding up my phone recording everybody and everything. Streetview was a google system being operated by a google employee (or contractor.) Google glass is just some guy wearing some glasses. My point is, why is everyone all pissy that "google is invading privacy" when it's actually the person wearing the glasses?

Privacy (2)

LocalH (28506) | about a year ago | (#43756077)

"privacy of non-users who may not want their every public move to be recorded"

I wasn't aware people had that sort of privacy. Public is public, and private is private. Pictures are pictures, whether they're taken by a film camera, digital camera, cell phone, or Google Glass.

Google should tell Congress to go fuck off. Congress already exerts more power than they're legally supposed to, and this is just another small step in the erosion of the Constitution if this is allowed to continue.

I take it the republicans are refusing to go there (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43756143)

You know, not interfere with the operations of a private company, let the free market sort it all out, get Big Government Off The Job Creators' Backs and all that.

What if the Boston bombers would ask the same... (1)

SlowMeDown (570749) | about a year ago | (#43756153)

question? Were their rights to privacy violated when video of them walking down the street was used to track them down? Was there a way for them to opt out of being photographed? God help us clear the idiots out of congress.

Congress asking intelligent questions (2)

rlh100 (695725) | about a year ago | (#43756171)

What a pleasant surprise to see Congress asking intelligent questions about a technical topic. I think we should encourage this type of thinking.

non user == police (1)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about a year ago | (#43756361)

tsk!

Naturally (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43756467)

What do you expect from a group with a combined history of denouncing global warming, trying to defund the National Endowment for the Arts, and co-sponsoring SOPA.

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