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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
> 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.
Now all cameras with IR suppress IR in good light conditions so as not to allow “see thru” capabilities.
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.
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.
Day after day, my loathing for Facebook grows.
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.
This sounds like a complement, to be honest. If we get awesome, real, AR glasses because Zuckerberg is jealous, then more power to him.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
If you don't like this, 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).
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.
Why is it one thing? Also, who told you it was regulated?
I'm still hoping that there is a way out, but Brin is looking more and more prescient.
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".
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.
This obviously goes too far and we might even get some sane legislation out of this.
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."
Let's call them "fDweebs". ("iDweebs" were those Apple earbuds with white wires.)
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Just because something is possible, doesn't mean we should make more extreme versions of it possible.
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.
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.
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.
"Virtual Walls: Protecting Digital Privacy
in Pervasive Environments"
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.
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.
And the indicator LED can easily be hidden with tape or these laptop camera stickers, if you are more into the ironic touch.
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.
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.
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 ...
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.