I was recently to the U.K. for the first time in my life, and quite early got involved with the security personnel of a shopping mall I visited. I had taken a photo of the interior architecture of the shopping mall and in a couple of minutes a security person with a walkie-talkie-button in his ear appeared and told me that photographing was prohibited. He was big and scary looking, though didn’t appear armed and was behaving quite courteously. I was not surprised, when I learned that the restriction concerned the type of photography that a planning terrorist could be doing. That meant that taking close-up photos of the products and price tags in the stores was ok (though, I should ask the shop keeper’s permission for that too), but photographing the architecture was not.
This relates to my previous posting (click here) about the (social media) users of the Google Glass (click here). Now, however, I am looking at the relationship of Google Glass to governments and the corporate world.
The shopping mall in question here is visible in Google Street View, so the U.K. is not one of the countries to ban this service in fear of terrorism or losing privacy. Will they be a country to ban the Google Glass for the former reason of the two? Will there be a force of government officials and shopping mall owners that are opposed to the will of Google and the Google Glass users? How well will this new technology be adopted?
Will this be a clash of corporations? How will shopping mall owners consider the Google Glass technology? Do they want people to be guided to their malls by Google Glass navigation and to see advertisements inside the malls? The advertisements could be personalized for the users and hence more effective. Will Google agree on recording restrictions within these places? Will the mall security demand that the camera feed of everyone be open to them, so they can track people and watch what they are about inside the mall? Will Google still “do no evil”, and how is evil defined? Can it be evil to do what governments or corporations consider as terrorism prevention?
These are interesting times we are living. Social media is one landmark of our times and terrorism is another – especially the fear of terrorism.
Update on 17.5.2013: The day after I posted this entry, there was discussion between the U.S.A. government and Google about the Google Glass and legislation: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/17/technology/lawmakers-pose-questions-on-google-glass.html?smid=pl-share