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Ireland raises privacy question over Facebook smart glasses (reuters.com)
163 points by justinclift 38 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 145 comments



I know this will get DVed but this seems like one of those things we'll look back on in 20yrs and "mostly" wonder what all the fuss was about.

AR cameras seem inevitable. They're strange today but ask any 2006 non-techie if they'd consider carrying a pocket computer and they'd laugh at you. Now they all have one and you'd likely only get them to part with it from their cold dead fingers.

The privacy issues are a huge consequence but IMO they won't stop the march of progress. Too many positives. First is they enable AR which full sci-fi AR seems eminently useful. 2nd, they'll likely help prevent all kinds of crime, especially once implanted or put in contact lenses. Rape, Muggings, theft, seem like they'd all go down in a world where AR cameras are as ubiquitous as smartphones. How do backroom deals, government conspiracies, corporate malfeasance stay private when everyone in the room is recording it? You could say "they'll be told to turn it off to participate" but I suspect as we get more and more dependent it will become near impossible to ask people to turn off their connections. They won't be able to effectively participate in the meeting with all referencing all the stuff their AR display gives them access to. Police brutality? All of it recorded.

Further, as a 2021 person used to privacy it scares the crap out of me for all my private activities with others to be recorded. But a generation of people that grew up with the AR will likely have no such reservations. They'll be used to having every sex act recorded.

So, while the privacy issues are real I feel like it's mostly like commanding the waves to stop crashing. Impossible. Better to just accept that it's coming and figure out how best to deal with it. I don't believe laws telling people they can't have it or use it will work. I know if you value your privacy that sucks but I doubt anything can be done to stop it from coming and I so I think it's better to embrace its arrival.


The world you're describing sounds like hell to me. I'd rather become Amish than live in it.

Also, I would point out that the advent of police cameras has by no means ended controversies over police brutality. It has simply revealed what should have been obvious: we do not agree about what constitues police brutality. I expect the same would be true when it comes to sex.


Completely agree. The GP reads like a really depressing form of fatalism: "I guess tech giants control the world now, and democracies have no say."

Also, a reality where everything is recorded all the time would enable some nightmarish forms of social control that it would seem hard to escape from. Imagine an abusive husband that insists on performing a daily review of all activities.


That doesn’t make sense, at least staying with your second sentence. Many examples of police brutality have come to light that would have otherwise been hidden had we had no cameras.


My point was that there are many cases where different people view the footage and simply disagree about whether the violence was justified.


true, but in this scenario it is at least better to have the video to debate about vs just testimony


Especially since the average person will side with the police office the majority of the time. The fact that they're arguing over it instead is an improvement.


> Better to just accept that it's coming and figure out how best to deal with it.

No - I massively disagree with this

we're still at the forefront of the internet revolution , if we simply cave in on things like this, then all the subsquent generations will get the pain.

We can stop it if we say no - it is 100% NOT inevitable, we can choose as a society


"We" cannot choose "as a society" any more than an individual can choose not to consume fossil fuel products, or sweatshop labour, or child slavery (yes, child slavery, and you're benefiting from its fruits, too; where did the materials to build the computer you're reading this on come from?). The environment, the slate of available choices, are intentionally constrained in order to make a small number of people richer than even numerate HN readers can conceive.

Victim blaming consumers, or even the engineers who create the products that usher in our inevitable future, isn't useful. Well, OK -- I suppose it isn't inevitable, it's just not avoidable without the failure of several complex societal institutions dedicated to preventing the kind of grass-roots, bottom-up reorganization required to stop it.


The fuss is about the "Facebook" bit, not the "smart glasses" bit. I want smart glasses that are mine, not Mark's.


It’s not your smart glasses. Its everyone else’s.

Facebook will know you are in Idaho this week, not because you have a Facebook account, but because they’ve matched you in a shadow profile of a university friend that posted a picture of you 15 years ago, and you’ve been picked up on Joe Sixpack’s camera.


Do you also want to make the decision for everyone else, that they can't wear Mark's glasses?


Yes. Finally use those antitrust laws to crush Facebook. Make it illegal for anyone to sell glasses that are not completely under its owners control. Also prohibit centralized storage. Prohibit centralized face recognition. And while you're at it, imprison everyone who was ever involved in mass surveillance...


This is exactly the plot of The Circle (the book—I haven't seen the movie).

> Rape, Muggings, theft, seem like they'd all go down in a world where AR cameras are as ubiquitous as smartphones.

A simple mask stops the second two. And it'll take a generation at least until wearing camera sunglasses indoors leads to sex/rape.

> How do backroom deals, government conspiracies, corporate malfeasance stay private when everyone in the room is recording it?

The powerful will be the last people this affects. Thus, privacy will be seen as a mark of status.


Violence is always an option and ability for most humans, but we have laws and culture that prevent humans from doing those actions, and some places are better than others than this because of those legal and social differences. Similarly we can choose a similar future in regards to privacy, even with newly evolved tech with their privacy issues.


There is one example of a technology which was curbed because it infringed on privacy: high iso + IR video cameras in daylight. Sony had come out with a “camcorder” whose functions allowed people who wanted to take surreptitious up skirt videos (it was good under low light conditions and added IR light). This was a big problem in Japan so Sony took it off the market.

Now all cameras with IR suppress IR in good light conditions so as not to allow “see thru” capabilities.


That's nothing compared to the professional voyeurism performed by Google and Facebook.


> Better to just accept that it's coming and figure out how best to deal with it. I don't believe laws telling people they can't have it or use it will work.

Two things:

1. I will never accept this. Hell no. And under no circumstances will I give in to let them do their thing just because it's easier.

2. Laws telling people they can't use/have it will work. That's why we have laws, to coordinate certain behaviours when people refuse to act respectfully. Mask mandates and GDPR have been some very recent examples that had a drastic impact on how things are done, providing these laws are actually enforced. If they aren't enforced, that's a problem with your enforcement and not the laws.

And yes, to echo the sentiments of others in this thread: if everyday life becomes saturated with these invasive devices, I will be the one person asking them to switch them off during s conversation. Or run to the hills.


Sounds terrible. I'd love to see someone following Facebook employees around Surveillance Camera Man style, at the grocery store and as they eat dinner outside. I'm sure they wouldn't react poorly.



> ask any 2006 non-techie if they'd consider carrying a pocket computer and they'd laugh at you.

That depends on the question you ask, if you ask them if they want to carry a bulky device they will say no, but if you ask that the device will be very small, light, sleek and you can make calls and check email and browse the internet, almost everyone will say yes.


Indeed the elimination of privacy seems inevitable...


This is exactly what I thought when I first saw them. The LED can be easily covered, and they look too much like normal sunglasses for the average person to notice.

Day after day, my loathing for Facebook grows.


Yeah, this reminds me of a product you'd find in a spy museum.

Cue the chilling effect of having to worry about being recorded whenever you're talking around someone wearing Raybans in public. And before the claims about it not being worse than everyone having a smartphone, etc, it absolutely is - it's far more obvious if someone has their phone in hand.


It's not FB. It's progress. You can replace them with any other name in the world. It just happens to be that Facebook announced this rather obvious technology.


In fact, Snapchat has had a similar product for a while with Spectacles[0].

0: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12569182


Ah, more of Zuckerberg's jealousy because Snapchat refused their acquisition offer?


> Ah, more of Zuckerberg's jealousy because Snapchat refused their acquisition offer?

This sounds like a complement, to be honest. If we get awesome, real, AR glasses because Zuckerberg is jealous, then more power to him.


Is this really the general point of view on this website? Are you comfortable with an entity like Facebook which has shown to lie repeatedly, to have spy glasses? An entity like Zuckerberg who is hell-bent on crushing all his competition? Really?


You must've missed the first eposide of this show called "Glassholes".


Unfortunately Facebook is far from the only company that regularly invades and has contempt for privacy.

That contemptuous attitude and attempts to profit from privacy invasion is almost omnipresent among companies these days.

On the subject of glasses that can record what you see, wasn't Google the first company to market them? There was a similar backlash against them too back then.


At least with Google glass there was little danger of mistaking my them for “normal” glasses. These Facebook/Ray Ban ones are designed to blend in.


We'll need to wear hats like this as a countermeasure https://hackaday.com/2020/02/28/using-ir-leds-to-hide-in-pla...


Does that even work for non-shitty cameras, which have IR filters?


I don't mean to go too much against the narrative in this thread, but aren't cameras on glasses necessary to achieve AR? Are people concerned about these glasses just because it's Facebook, or is there broader opposition to AR technology?


It's possible to do AR without at the same time streaming and recording the video stream to a social network.

Almost nobody will feel violated if a blind person has camera-based prosthetic eyesight... unless it's also recording for others to gawk at later.

I think the key privacy distinction isn't whether there's a device using a camera to augment vision. It's whether the glasses are recording for publication via Facebook at one extreme, versus just processing locally to perform AR and discarding the stream at the other extreme.

Where personal information may be involved for functionality, ideally it should use sophisticated privacy-preserving data queries, for example looking up faces and gaits without revealing to the cloud who is being looked up (technically challenging but undoubtedly possible to build).

Even if the video is not published, but it's streamed to Facebook for, say, demographic manipulation analysis, race estimation, genetic healthcare analytics (affecting other individual people's insurance premiums based on what it sees), juicy gaffes that are "recommended" by ML to be posted as probable high-engagement rage-tweets, customer service profiling, that sort thing, it's going to make being around a person wearing these things high-anxiety for a lot of people. The list of possible dark applications is endless. For good reason: It has the power to ruin someone's life, and certainly end or prevent a career, should someone else wish to do that.

Just recording the video (or even audio) without publishing it, purely for the owner's use, could be a problem if it's pervasive. It might be used later against you when you thought you were ok being relaxed and informal without paying heightened attention to your every action. Perhaps someone you thought was a friend decided later to use their private recording as evidence for a character assassination campaign or whatever. Imagine if everything you said, every gesture, every eyebrow movement might be plucked out of context and turned into an outrage tweet at any time after it happened. Panopticon is a problem. People need informal contexts where it's ok to not be on heightened alert at least some of the time.


Right. However, it is my understanding that these glasses in their current form do not stream or publish data to Facebook, and I have no reason to suspect that future AR glasses would do that either. Technology has no inherent morality, and can be used for just as much good as bad.


There's lots of reasons why they will want to stream single snapshots or small clips to fb. look at what Google lens and Google translate are doing


I think its pretty much just a complaint against Facebook. You could buy the first gen Snap Spectacles and its the same thing, no?


THat's my thought, too. Anyone who wants to hide a camera on their person can do so easily. A small hole in a shirt, coat, or hat can conceal a lens and cameras can be tiny. Yet nobody's rushing out to pass laws against "concealable cameras" in general.


You also have to see how easy these will be to use, with a dedicated app and all, compared to hiding a camera. In practice, if I spot a hidden cam on someone interacting with me in public, I’d call them out, but socially it would e super awkward to ask someone to put their glasses away. But I agree the FB association might be making people extra uncomfortable (can’t blame them!)


What if you met someone carrying their phone in their breast pocket, with the camera facing outward? Would you ask to see their phone to see if they were recording you?


For me, it’s because Facebook. They have no track record of trust. I work for a significant Silicon Valley tech company and have seen up close the types of shenanigans that have been attempted by Facebook — especially with their mobile apps. Don’t trust them.


> They have no track record of trust.

Its worse. They have a consistent track record for asking for trust and then breaking it in most abusive way possible, then issuing a non-apology only after getting caught and then repeating same process all-over again. Oh, I forgot mentioning FB getting rich in the process, so it somehow becomes justified and has zero chance for change.


Aren't all recorded breaches of trust (outside of admittedly predatory data collection schemes endemic to the software industry) the result of unprecedented attacks on social networks as a construct? How would one anticipate such attacks?

I think it's fair to say that Facebook grew too quickly to mitigate the issues inherent to social networks at scale. I don't think that makes them abusive or evil, just naive.


Remember the time they asked for your phone number for 2FA and then used it for contact linking?


There was that one time they conducted a study on emotion manipulation on 700,000 people without informed consent.

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/jun/30/facebook-...


From my position, the mobile app shenanigans look like little more than intracompany politics. Where Facebook is not getting data, Apple or Google are still happily collecting.

Overall, I would guess that there is no track record of trust because expectations remain unclear. Concepts of privacy, data usage, and such didn't exist before Facebook and others. I suppose I am not eager to assume malintent outside what is standard for any business operating for the sake of profit.


"Concepts of privacy, data usage, and such didn't exist before Facebook and others."

They did exist before Facebook.

But not before "others", which include every company and person who ever existed. Not sure why you added "and others" to that sentence.


Sorry, yes, that is poorly worded on my part. I meant to say that there is a class of privacy discussion that essentially did not exist prior to the widespread adoption of social media.


We should take away the incentive for these companies to abuse our data.


These glasses have no AR though, just a camera.


If these were AR glasses first, would we have accepted the cameras as a necessary evil? If that is the case, then the concern seems superficial.


AR requires cameras, doesn't it? It's the connecting to the internet, recording the video and not allowing people a single shred of privacy anywhere, eventually even in their own homes, that is galling, especially when FB is doing it so they can track you down and bomb you with advertisements.


If the AR glasses were very useful, then I would think so.


For AR they will need some ability to interpret the world around them, but high res photography isn’t the only way. Think Lidar and the like already used to get a spatial understanding, or the infrared dots used in some face/body recognition. I expect that companies that are more “privacy” focus will avoid a camera, or at least any ability for apps to directly access the images from them if they do have them.


Can we just look back to all the stories about Google Glass a few years back and repeat them?


The problem with these is that they're essentially masquerading as normal sunglasses. I don't think most people in public will even notice that these aren't normal Ray Bans. Google Glass wasn't effective in part due to the fact that they were obvious to those around the wearer. That's not the case with these, which is frankly terrifying.


It's hard for me to articulate how this makes me feel. As someone who values anonymity and, for no particular reason, would prefer not to be photographed and have my movements tracked, I feel like I am being forced from public spaces.

Regulated CCTV coverage of certain areas is one thing. This is untracked, unlimited surveillance by a private company whose goals and motives are completely removed from any semblance of public, democratic influence.

Facebook must be destroyed.


Easy with the conspiracy theories. They may know your height, your eye/hair color, your skin color, your license plate #, where you live, where you work, where you shop, who you hang out with, etc, but you'll still be totally anonymous when they sell that information to whoever pays for it. They swear!


When the cameras and processing are good enough, the watchers may also know your heart rate, breathing rate, who you glance at that goes by and which ones raise your heart rate, when you smile, when you frown, your pupil dilation, what items you browse in physical shops even if you don't buy, everything that can be picked out by lip reading, whether you look like you got a good night's sleep; trends in all these factors over time as they see you from multiple cameras across the months and years, and can probably predict when you will lose your job and if you're getting a divorce before you, your spouse and your employer knows these things, and which cancer you have before it's diagnosed (but will use it to raise/deny your insurance rather than actually help you).

Of course it will all be presented only to trustworthy researchers with impeccable standards of ethics who have your interests first, such as the advertising unit, and the ministry of happiness and fair opportunity for all.

All data requests from law enforcement fishing crews, "surgical" tactical vote manipulators, blackmailers, credit reference agencies, insurance companies, pre-crime detection centres, and religious morality police will of course be turned down, as that would be unethical. No price could possibly be high enough...


I know right? Only people who have something to hide would care if some bespectacled reprobate snaps down-shirt shots of them on the subway to share the 'experience' with their fellows.


If it wasn't Facebook, somebody else would or already is doing this. There's no escaping public CCTV in major cities nowadays. It's not nearly as regulated as you think and is also majority run by private companies.

If you don't like this, changing the laws to ban public surveillance is the only option.


Aggregation, scale, visibility, and mobility change the risks. Quantity has a quality of its own.


> changing the laws to ban public surveillance is the only option

i wonder if it would be feasible to require that all surveillence footage from public areas be immediately encrypted so that it could only be decrypted by a certain number of judges (following a court order).


As someone who values anonymity and, for no particular reason, would prefer not to be photographed and have my movements tracked

It's sad that you are made to feel like you have to disclaim that you have no particular reason for wanting privacy. Privacy should be the default, not something we have to explain to the defenders of megacorps.


Not just Facebook. Look at ring cameras, or dash cameras. The curtain twitching has been weaponised, partly by Facebook (platform to post pictures of “the wrong sorts”), but by other companies providing those cameras too.


>Regulated CCTV coverage of certain areas is one thing

Why is it one thing? Also, who told you it was regulated?


David Brin predicted that surveillance would be impossible to control in his 1998 book "The Transparent Society", going on to argue that there are two possible futures: one in which the masses are under 100% surveillance, while elites can act behind closed doors, and one in which the masses can also see what the elites are doing ("sousveillance").

I'm still hoping that there is a way out, but Brin is looking more and more prescient.


Looks like we'll need to become part of this elite in order to have any peace.


This is HN, everyone is trying to become part of the elite here.


I am not.


That's exactly what the elitist would say.


> I don't think most people in public will even notice that these aren't normal Ray Bans

Most people will not even be aware such devices exist. Here, on HN, there's an assumption that everyone is or will soon be up-to-date with tech news. But, the world outside of HN is way, way larger.

I bet most people won't know what is going on even if they notice the eyeglasses have an LED that's on. It's not like an LED is a universal signal for "your privacy is cancelled now".


> I bet most people won't know what is going on even if they notice the eyeglasses have an LED that's on. It's not like an LED is a universal signal for "your privacy is cancelled now".

On decoy surveillance cameras they'll usually have a blinking or solid LED on them because the trope of "blinking red LED means it's recording" is so widespread. That's been used in film, self checkouts, body cameras, surveillance systems, etc. I don't know what indication would be more likely to signal a recording in progress short of a loudspeaker screaming "YOU ARE BEING RECORDED RIGHT NOW".

I think it's far more likely that the general public will be unaware of the existing ways they are being surveilled.


Just to say, they will notice them in Ireland. There are not that many sunglasses days…


They hide a thousand sins it’s said, so plenty more reasons to wear them round these parts


They’re also selling regular glasses, no tint.


I welcome these because it is all the same problems with Google Glass + a bunch of others.

This obviously goes too far and we might even get some sane legislation out of this.


People who are concerned about it will stop talking to people who wear Ray-Bans.

I could see this having a negative effect on Ray-Ban, especially since it's easy to say "ban Ray-Bans" or "Ray-Bans are banned" when you're hosting a gathering or event.

Customers are going to want to know, "Why do people around me always seem to look angry when I wear Ray-Bans? I get called 'glasshole' a few times every week."


You'd be surprised how many people didn't notice them, tbh.


At least with Google Glass, you had a display. These don't even have that. It's mostly a music player, really.

Let's call them "fDweebs". ("iDweebs" were those Apple earbuds with white wires.)


No repeat of the Robert Scoble photo, please!


The glassholes have returned. This time incognito.


At least they have "Ray Ban" written fairly large on the side, I'll certainly avoid people wearing Ray Bans in the near future.


Given that Ray-Ban has been one of the most popular sunglasses and eyeglasses brands for a long time, following that principle might make it really difficult for you to go anywhere in public.


Not that it matters, but they are not very popular where I live.


"spyctacles"


So am i the only one where this would be social suicide wearing such things? Maybe someone can explain


Agreed. If someone I was with was wearing these, the conversation would end immediately.


It is a good thing that these glasses are tinted, otherwise, people would wear them indoors, in private spaces.


I am sorry to disappoint but they are available with clear glasses and therefore also with prescription glasses


there are not tinted models, with only blue light filter, or with prescription glasses. https://www.ray-ban.com/usa/electronics/RW4003%20UNISEX%20ra...


...if you noticed them.


For those who worry about the camera and your privacy, how do phone cameras differ in this respect with everyone taking and uploading pictures, videos, snaps, and tiktoks in public spaces?


I have no skin in this game but the most common answer to this is that it's a lot easier to tell when someone is pointing a phone at you, unless they're REALLY being sneaky. With glasses this becomes impossible.


How many Amazon Ring doorbells do you walk/drive past every day without realizing it?


I think for the most part, you end up in the background of a photo. How many selfies might you be in? Have you worried about that prior?


> it's a lot easier to tell when someone is pointing a phone at you

What are you supposed to do with this information though? Ok, so now you know that you're being recorded (presumably in a public place) - what's the next move, and how does it bring about a result that is practically different to you never being aware of the recording?


I see this argument a lot as well, and it frankly makes no sense to me. All too often I've been at small to medium sized gatherings (5 - 10 people) where someone will record me/the general group and I'll only have realized later after seeing it on social media. Now imagine how often you're inadvertently captured on camera just walking around in public.

I can concede the case of 1-on-1 interactions, where a smartphone is much more noticeable than smart glasses, but IMO the march towards AR glasses is inevitable. Eventually we'll get to a point where either people will be able to recognize smart glasses in those situations based off of prior experience, or indicators to distinguish smart glasses become standardized.


There is no substantial difference, but the glasses hide it better and therefore have more nefarious uses. Making pictures of someone without consent is prohibited by law in most European countries (Edit: Not quite right, only in some), and people will react negatively if you try to do it.

Glasses that looked almost identical to these Ray Bans used to be available from Chinese wholesale sellers. It has always been hard for me to imagine them getting used by anyone else than creeps for making pictures of women on the beach, etc. Just because they're Ray Ban doesn't suddenly make them noble, on the contrary the resolution is probably higher, which makes these even more problematic spyware.


Taking pictures of someone without consent is generally legal in Europe, publishing them is generally not. There’s a bunch of discussion on the web, this seems authoritative: https://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Country_specifi...


It seems you're right, the link you give looks credible to me. I'm from Germany living in Portugal and in both countries the default is "No, it's not allowed (but with exceptions)", so that explains my wrong generalization.

That it's allowed in other countries makes these glasses much worse, as it probably also means you have less legal options against their use (and the equivalent uses of phones). I'm a bit astonished, too. I wonder how people deal with creeps in those countries who film and photograph women without their consent on the beach, etc. After all, that's the primary use case for such spyware devices, which used to be available online long before Facebook and Ray Ban suggested them.


I don't even understand how this got past the first whiteboard meeting "yeah right you want this to perv at the beach, park etc". It's just a creepy hidden camera.


there are hundreds of hidden cameras on glasses, Teddy bears, hats, pens, and so on, just to to Alibaba and other Chinese vendors.


It's just bad optics, no pun intended. They know the privacy concerns surrounding Facebook yet they choose to release smart glasses


Why are people up in arms about this? Imagine a transhuman future where we all have superhuman memory and have integrated mind machine interfaces, able to perfectly transfer information between ourselves. Would you insist that people's memories be degraded to be close to the average memory quality? Or would you prevent them from transferring the information via things like degrading their perfect drawing skills? (Or maybe just make drawing people's faces from memory without their consent illegal? Presumably while also making it illegal to do things like sharing a high fidelity memory with a friend or spouse)


I live in an all-party consent state, and would like to keep it that way. I don't want to be traced through other people's recordings, particularly through something that is easy to always have on.


So what is your solution to the dilemma I pose? Forced memory degradation or prevention of memory transfer?


I think it's is a good question, and I don't have a solution to the dilemma.

However I think it's predictable that if I lived in a place with a significant number of those super-augmented people, and I wasn't one of them, the quality of my life would be extremely dependent on their attitude towards me. There would be extreme power asymmetry. I could only hope they were kind, as I'd have next to no power in that world.

If I was one of them as well, then I think it's difficult to extrapolate from current human experience what society would be like. It could go in a lot of different ways. Some SF literature explores these questions.

The current human world, with the addition of some people having high-tech, always-on sensors and computers analysing everything around them is a bit like the first scenario above: Some super-augmented, others not. As the tech becomes progressively more advanced, those who don't have the tech can only hope those who own and control the tech are kind, (that's not generally the camera wearers, by the way), because it creates a substantial power asymmetry, which keeps increasing as the technology advances and is distributed unevenly.



I just reported to my friends that bobthepanda posted a message on hacker news. I didn't ask for your consent to tell them. I also told my sister about a conversation I had with a friend. I didn't ask the friend's permission to share.


but that doesn't scale, and isn't super high fidelity anyways (eyewitness recall is notoriously bad).

Just because something is possible, doesn't mean we should make more extreme versions of it possible.


It does scale. People have been writing what other people do in books and newspapers for centuries and spreading the info to millions of people

I see it as what right do you have to prevent me from sharing my experiences and memories and what right do you have do prevent me from augmenting that memory?

Taken to an extreme your POV seems like it would ban paper. Why I am allowed to take notes about what someone is saying other than in my brain? We should ban paper! Oh, I replaced paper with a computer. Oh, I used a computer to do speech recognition and record the notes. Oh, I videod the speech. What if I augment my brain. People have long been working on making chips to help people with brain damage. What if they get to the point those chips have flawless memory?

I get those are hypotheticals, but they help to think about what's the underlying principles. Today I can walk down the street and live stream everything I see so it's not like we aren't there already at some degree.

I also saw some people brought up they're in a "consent" state. I don't know of any consent states that prevent videotaping without consent. If they did, all security cameras would be illegal. I do know at least one state prevents audio recording without consent. I suspect that won't last. For one because everyone will have a video camera + mic so at some point the state will catch up to how people behave rather than try to stop them. For 2 because given enough processing and framerate I suspect you can extract audio from video (). For 3 you could use lip readers (or trained AI) to extract conversation from video.

() https://news.mit.edu/2014/algorithm-recovers-speech-from-vib...


That future is still far off. It's not a stretch to imagine that by then, humanity has made stable colonies on different planets so we can get away from greedy business leaders like Mark and live in enclaves that actually reflect our values to a much larger extent than the current world allows for.

If, for example, I were to live in a colony that postulated that any augmentation that could be used as surveillance must be running on fully open hardware and software, and that there are legal (but not technical) restrictions around selling this data for commercial gain, I'd sign up happily. Make that instead a Facebook enclave, and I'd be catching the first ship off the planet.


Cause it's Facebook... Any other company, sign me up... But fuck you Facebook....


Because this is the exact same cyberpunk delusion that has got us to this point.

All the utopian cyberpunk dreams were/are wrong. There is just no evidence anything plays out like this. All evidence points towards a dystopian outcome.


Hopefully, personal IR laser countermeasures.


How about a light, a beep, and an RF broadcast? When the camera is on, the LED on the glasses lights, the glasses beep, your phone beeps, and the glasses send an RF broadcast to all nearby phones so those phones beep. In fact, the nearby phones could reply with a message that says "do not record" preventing the glasses from recording. Everyone within range would have to approve the recording. If someone new moves into range their approval is also needed, so the glasses must continually send "can I record?" queries to surrounding devices. Anyone who does not want to be recorded can get a cheap RF badge that replies to all "can I record?" messages with "No". The RF could be range limited so that people far away do not get a vote. Maybe the RF range would have to vary depending on whether the glasses camera is zoomed in or not. All cameras could have this approval system making approval/disapproval automatic. The same could be done for audio recording.

"Virtual Walls: Protecting Digital Privacy in Pervasive Environments"

https://homes.luddy.indiana.edu/kapadia/papers/walls_pervasi...


What is “L1N2QC2KU”?


Only place I can find it is in variants of this article. Maybe the author of the original pasted their password by mistake while they were working on it and the proofreader thought it was a code name or something.


Surprising it’s the DPC piping up. They aren’t generally known as an aggressive regulator


The Irish regulator is the one with jurisdiction, so they're the one that's on point for this topic.

They're also quite proactive in offering guidance, material, and feedback. Their cookie sweep from a few years back is something I still reference on a regular basis for the contours of "strictly necessary."

They just don't actually regulate. They offer a lot of guidance and ask a lot of strong-worded questions, but those don't turn into fines.


1984 was a warning, not an instruction manual.

It is good to bring up privacy issues with this.

Essentially these glasses are a cheap version of what spies have been wearing for decades, so of course it's going to raise eyebrows. Putting surveillance powers in the hands of everyday folk invariably leads to bad things.


Maybe just a proactive move. The DPC asks, FB answers, all is good, no privacy problems.

And the indicator LED can easily be hidden with tape or these laptop camera stickers, if you are more into the ironic touch.


You know these kind of aggressive under the alcohol or party drugs people who will start a fight with zero hesitation if they think someone looks at their partner? If these individuals just think you are filming them or their partner or families, this will end ugly.

This depends on the location and culture, but I have seen people having a gun stuck in their face for a single wrong look.

This is just one of the many, many potentially disastrous outcomes, not even mentioning the smart glass users with malicious intent.


what’s the difference between these glasses and the snapchat spectacles?

https://www.spectacles.com/


The new Spectacles are not for sale. They’re built for creators looking to push the limits of immersive AR experiences.


And what is the end goal of Spectacles? Surely to do more than just be exclusive for creators.


the new spectacles aren’t for sale. the old ones are.

and the fb glasses look like spectacles v1.

maybe i’m missing something, but it feels like fb just launched a product that was already out there for a while now.


great, so my RayBan wayfarer glasses will soon be regarded as suspicious


This is why I've completely ruled out buying another pair of Ray-Bans again, and I've owned several in the past.


You can already by hidden camera sun glasses on amazon


Malicious actors could just place them on a balcony near an ATM, this whole thing is a terrible idea as far privacy goes. Massive infraction.


My prescription glasses are ray bans, I need a new pair and I’m quite tempted to get these. I like the built in headphones and I’m interested in being able to take pics of my kids easily or even anything else to be honest, but I’m not a creep and have no interest in taking pics of random people.

Yet, will it be assumed I am a glass hole for wearing these, peer pressure from the paranoid! Done nothing wrong yet judged and punished ...


“Smart” is almost an exaggeration in this case. They don’t have any AR, so it’s just a camera basically, as far as I heard.


Smartphone aren't smart either.


They were when they appeared. That is, in comparison to the phones that existed at that time, which are now known as "dumb phones". Now, smartphones are the normal.


By that logic these smartglasses are smart


These glasses look ridiculous, i can’t understand how a brand like ray-ban throws their name in for what looks like spy glasses

https://www.ray-ban.com/usa/electronics/RW4004%20UNISEX%20RA...


Just to comment on your take about the brand itself. Ray-Ban is owned by the Luxottica Group, who are set to merge with Essilor - looking at ~25% global value of eyewear.

This means they own enough to possibly a) start normalising this whole thing by pushing out with other brands and b) Ray-Ban now bombing could be a credible calculated risk.



I'm a little confused by your comment. The glasses pictured in the article look like a pretty standard pair of modern Wayfarers.


They look… exactly the same as these? https://www.ray-ban.com/usa/sunglasses/RB2140%20UNISEX%20ori...


litereally like ebay-chinese esque ones too.

https://www.amazon.com/GoVision-Sunglasses-Resistant-Lightwe...




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