EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


May 20, 2013

Column: Google Glass and the end of privacy


But the potential for abuse always is present and Big Brother but a step away. However, Google Glass is over the top with a possibility for intrusion that makes those ubiquitous telephone cameras and recorders seem benign.

The Times quoted a Los Angeles lawyer as saying, “We are all now going to be both the paparazzi and the paparazzi’s target.” That seems spot on to me, and it doesn’t make it less intrusive because one has to touch the device or speak to activate it and look directly at his or her target. Refiners of this tech wonder already have begun to find ways to activate it that are less obvious ... like just winking.

Those defending this latest wizardry contend that no one should have anything to hide. Are they nuts? No. They’re just mad scientists.

How about when you reprimand your kid for being disruptive or refusing to mind while in public? Should that be recorded and given to the authorities as evidence that you are abusive? Do you really want all your personal business and problems, no matter how minor, recorded for posterity? If you do, you belong in Silicon Valley with the rest of the “geniuses.”

A wise man once told me that too much progress can be a bad thing. He explained that just because it is possible to do something doesn’t mean you should do it, especially if it doesn’t necessarily enhance your life or carries the potential of being disruptive or destructive to someone else.

What is the value of privacy? If we haven’t learned that by now, we are lost and the Merlins of our Brave New World will leave us shredded and bleeding on the altar of technology. Am I hysterical? When it comes to this subject, you bet I am. Everyone should be. Keep your nose and your Google Glass out of our business.

Email Dan K. Thomasson, former editor of the Scripps Howard News Service, at thomassondan@aol.com.

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