Google Glass could violate privacy, UK watchdog warns

Mobile & tablets

by CBR Staff Writer| 27 June 2014

UK privacy watchdog warns users not to break the law while using the gadget

The UK's Information Commissioner's Office has warned that Google Glass could infringe on people's privacy and has issued a warning to the public ensure that their use of the wearable technology does not violate the Data Protection Act.

Earlier this week, Google began selling the gadget in the UK for £1,000.

The ICO is worried that the device could be used to film people without their permission, capturing footage in areas notified as private or recording copyrighted films.

Furthermore, research by the University of Massachusetts Lowell found that the wearable technology could capture passwords from as far as 10-feet with an 83% degree of accuracy.

In a blog post, the ICO's senior technology officer, Andrew Paterson, said that if the wearable technology is for one's own personal use, then they are unlikely to be breaching the Act. However, if one intends to use any data gathered by wearable devices for non-personal purposes, then the exemption no longer stands.

Organisations that use wearable technology to gather and process personal information will be covered under the Act. This implies that they must process the information collected by these devices in compliance with the law.

"This includes making sure that people are being informed about how their details are being collected and used, only collecting information that is relevant, adequate and not excessive and ensuring that any information that needs to be collected is kept securely and deleted once it is no longer required," Paterson added.

A similar debate concerning privacy has been going on in the US and Canada since February 2013.

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