This seems to have come straight from the “I guess we really didn’t think it through” department:
As reported on sdtimes.com, developer Sander Veenhof created an app that lets people know about “privacy intrusions caused by surveillance cameras.” (Quotation marks are our own, for emphasis.) Apparently, Google Glass wearers can see green “safe” zones where no cameras are around, and red “hot” zones in which they are being watched.
This, apparently, is to protect Glass wearers from an invasion of their privacy in areas covered by closed-circuit cameras. (We’re not exactly sure how this is classified as an invasion of privacy, but that’s another matter entirely.)
So we ask… are we missing something?
It seems to us that cameras are used to protect the properties to which they are attached. For instance, a jewelry store will have a camera inside to watch for burglars, and to capture their image in the event of a crime. So will a bank, and a convenience store. Some will even post a sign that says “closed-circuit cameras in operation” without really having them, to use as a deterrent to crime.
Now, imagine a burglar steals the Google Glass and has this app installed. He’ll simply go to a store that does NOT have surveillance and rob that one.
Is this really what we want? Technology that can aid and abet people with criminal intentions? We certainly hope not.
Like the headline says: Just because we can create this cool software that can do certain things doesn’t mean we ought to. While software in the vast majority of cases is created to improve our lives, it still too often is misused by malicious groups or individuals.
Technology is racing out of control, as very brilliant minds create all kinds of applications and devices simply because they can. Drones that deliver pizzas? Applications that wearers can use to avoid detection?
There needs to be some kind of industry oversight to slow this pace, to examine why things are being created and to what end they can be used, before we are simply left with a very bad outcome and the lament, “I guess we didn’t really think it all the way through.”