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January 28, 2014

Does Google Glass deserve its negative reputation?

Wearable tech doesn’t invade privacy – people do.

By Duncan Macrae

Google Glass has garnered an undeserved ‘bad’ reputation, despite only being in its infancy, a technology security specialist has claimed.

It has not even been launched commercially yet but has already been banned by an array of authorities around the globe, with some cinemas, casinos and hospitals among the establishments to have put the kybosh on it.

Such is the opposition to the gadget that a campaign has been launched in the US called Stop the Cyborgs that is demanding that signs be put up in public places warning that Google Glass is banned.

Barry Coatesworth, an experienced CISO who specialises in the retail sector, understands that there are security issues surrounding Google Glass but is disappointed that so many people view it as ‘bad’.

He said: "It’s not bad. Maybe the people who use it could be. But is the person who invented the wheel responsible for transport pollution or wars? No, they’re not. It’s about how people use the tools."

The real security concern surrounding Google Glass will come from a policy perspective, according to Coatesworth.
He explained: "With regards PR, for example, you’ll get people walking around on Facebook and Twitter and they put something out there on the Internet that they shouldn’t. How would we stop that? And how would we enforce any policy on that?"

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Coatesworth believes it will be another few years before wearable tech like Google glass really takes off, though.

"It needs to be an acceptable value for consumers to buy. If it’s cheap enough people will buy it but until then it will be a niche market. 3D printing is a similar example. At the moment you have to spend about £200 but eventually it will, in about six years time, come down to the same cost of a normal printer today – maybe about £40. Until then it is really only appealing to hobbyists.

"It’ll be the same with wearable tech. With telemetry I think Google Glass will be the catalyst but it’s got to be cost effective. They’ve got to grab their market share then expand."

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