Industry Observations

Google Glass At Your Own Peril

I made this list to help people understand why surveillance at all times is not acceptable. There are plenty of times throughout the day that it’s just totally unacceptable, rude or otherwise dangerous to be photographing anything with a device on your head. Besides looking idiotic, Google Glass solves a problem almost no one has, and ultimately introduces a lot of additional issues in the process of just making the person wearing it look dorky.

Here is a list of some of the places and situations in which it is inappropriate to wear Google Glass. Places/scenarios where it will be assumed you are a pervert, or an idiot and are likely to get yourself beaten up, arrested, fired, shunned, or have your Google Glass (or yourself) broken, etc:

  • In the shower (I’m looking at you Scoble), especially in a communal one at a campground, prison, etc.
  • At any point where a police officer may decide that it is illegal – which, honestly, seems like pretty much any time at all these days.
  • In bed with someone you just met, unless that’s their thing
  • In a confessional, hearing a confession
  • At a urinal, especially a trough style urinal at a football game
  • At the movie theater
  • At a concert
  • Just checking in to make sure everything is okay during your daughter’s slumber party
  • While buying condoms, sanitary pads, or anything else, where it is assumed one wouldn’t want photographic evidence unless you are a pervert
  • While committing any crime at all, even J-walking, or speeding
  • In the changing room
  • At a strip club or burlesque show
  • While scuba diving
  • While playing or working on a casino floor
  • While operating heavy machinery – automobiles (especially during any sort of Irish road racing), airplanes, front end loaders, excavators, etc.
  • At bars
  • Courtrooms (especially federal) unless specifically authorized to do so
  • While taking a test of just about any kind
  • In any location at any time in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, South Dakota and Utah unless people give concent and/or recognize that they are under surveillance, due to covert surveillance laws
  • During takeoff or landing
  • The sauna
  • Clothing optional beaches/resorts
  • During many televised sporting events
  • In many Museums
  • At the United Nations
  • At most hospitals in the United States (especially while giving an OBGYN checkup, a venereologist exam or a proctology checkup)
  • While doing interviews for plastic surgery
  • During a psychiatric therapy session
  • While selling women’s shoes
  • While giving pedicures
  • Pretty much any profession involving children
  • While performing any job with top secret clearance
  • During an MMA fight or while boxing
  • While giving a massage
  • While in a locker room

Oh yeah, and while at my house.

  • Bill Stewart

    Those are problems with always-on cameras, not with Google Glass. Cellphones have the same issues already, though Glass puts the camera at a more convenient location. Its big innovation is display, so it can relatively unobtrusively tell you the name of the person you’re talking to (which is helpful if you’re a regular person who’s not good at faces and names, but hostile if you’re a cop or crook encountering strangers.)

    David Brin discussed many of these issues ~15 years ago in The Transparent Society.