UK privacy watchdog sounds the alarm, warns businesses over Google Glass
By End the Lie
The UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) issued a data protection warning to businesses after Google Glass launched in the country, reminding users and businesses of the privacy issues inherent in the technology.
The ICO set out how the country’s privacy rules affect wearable technology like Google Glass and that wearable technology may soon become as common as mobile phones.
Andrew Paterson, Senior Technology Officer at the ICO, wrote an official blog post about the reservations people may have “about the increasing amounts of personal information that these products are capable of collecting and transmitting.”
Paterson notes that one of the main issues addressed in the media has been if people are being given adequate notice that they may be filmed by someone wearing Glass.
Paterson points to the bar owners in the U.S. who have banned Glass entirely over the privacy concerns, noting that UK companies will have to consider their response.
“There is an important debate to be had around the privacy implications of wearable technology and it will ultimately be for society to decide how comfortable they are with wearables,” Paterson wrote. “However like any new technology, wearables must operate in compliance with the law.”
Paterson notes that Glass users will have to comply with the UK Data Protection Act if they are using Glass for anything other than entirely personal use.
Even personal use could raise significant privacy concerns.
“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,” CBR Online notes.
Organizations who use Google Glass will have to process all data collected in compliance with the UK Data Protection Act.
“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 notes.
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