Now that Google is selling Google Glass to anyone who wants to shell out $US1,500 to buy one, there could be an increase in backlash from people creeped out by the device.
So privacy advocate Julian Oliver, member of a group called “Stop The Cyborgs,” came up with a clever new way to stop Glass from doing things like secretly recording video without permission.
He’s published a simple computer program that can detect when Glass is being used and stop it from connecting to a network. That in turn means that Glass can’t access cloud servers and apps.
Oliver tells Wired’s Andy Greenberg:
“To say ‘I don’t want to be filmed’ at a restaurant, at a party, or playing with your kids is perfectly OK. But how do you do that when you don’t even know if a device is recording? … This steps up the game. It’s taking a jammer-like approach.”
The program isn’t a commercially available product, so using it would require a bit of tech skill. It would need to be installed on something like inexpensive Raspberry Pi computer that has been hooked up with a USB network antenna. Once installed, the program searches for the unique network address that Google Glass uses and, when detected, refuses to allow Glass to connect.
While anyone can post signs declaring a Glass-free zone, this uses technology to enforce the policy.
Oliver tells Wired that he’s working on an even more aggressive version, one that can move around with you, disconnecting Glass from any network. The legality of that is questionable, Oliver admits, and he plans to warn people to use it only “in extreme circumstances.”