Liberal senator raises Big Brother spectre with Google Glass

Adds that augmented-reality headset could be annoying over dinner

Senator Cory Barnardi has raised Big Brother fears with new Google headset.

Senator Cory Barnardi has raised Big Brother fears with new Google headset.

Google Glass "could mean the end of privacy as we know it,” according to Liberal senator Cory Bernardi.

In a blog post adorned with an image of the iconic “Big Brother” from George Orwell’s dystopian classic, 1984, Bernardi said Google’s upcoming augmented reality headset could effectively turn every user into a surveillance camera.

Bernardi protested Google Glass’s ability to record video and audio.

“That might be fine if you are the user but what if you are an unwitting victim of such recording?” he asked.

“A single [Google Glass] wearer in your favourite restaurant could capture your image and your conversation without you ever knowing. The footage would be stored on the Google servers, your voice could be translated into text and with the use of facial recognition, could be actually matched to your Google profile. You might even find it on a social media site somewhere for millions of others to see.”

Bernardi also voiced a “personal gripe” about people potentially using Google Glass during a conversation.

“I might be old-fashioned, but I already get annoyed by people who obsessively check their smartphones during a conversation,” he wrote. "Ditto for the dinner companions who can’t leave their mobile keyboard alone between courses."

“Google Glass could take this to a whole new level. Gone will be the telltale signs of distraction displayed by a bowed head and fiddling with a computer screen. The person wearing [Google Glass] could be engaging in all manner of digital amusements while looking directly at you.”

Google was contacted for comment.

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Tags cctvsurveillanceSenator Cory BernardiLiberal PartyGoogle Glassprivacy

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