No Cyborgs Allowed

Google Glass, Google’s latest tech innovation, is a head-mounted, wearable computer that responds to voice commands and can do things like take photos, record video, conduct online searches, and give directions. While the gadget has drawn enthusiasm for being a leap forward in making technological resources instantly, constantly accessible, many have expressed concerns about the impact Google Glass might have on privacy rights and social dynamics. This article explains why some establishments have chosen to ban Google Glass, and why some activists are resisting its widespread adoption.


I wonder if Google Glass is little more than a gimmick. The technology allows little functionality that smartphones don’t already have. My hope is that this will be a fad that flops, and our daily lives will be no more integrated with the digital realm than they already are through computers and cell phones. I love how technology allows me to communicate and perform productive tasks, but I don’t want technology to constantly interface with my real life; I don’t want my world to be filtered through Google-colored glasses. Despite its many successful applications, Google has developed many failed technologies, and I can only hope that Google Glass will end up in the Google Graveyard.

I agree that it’s scary to think that our physical spaces will become mediated by digital technology, and that our entire lives might be shaped by the awareness that anyone around us might be recording and posting us as we go about our lives. I also think that with Google Glass might come an increased narcissism, with people constantly aware of how to fit themselves and their technological objectives within any situation (without an awareness of how that technology is impacting others).

I hope that as technology continues to develop, more attention is paid to etiquette and proper behavior so that social and professional interactions retain or reclaim some level of focus. I also think it’s essential that individuals maintain their right to privacy. People drinking coffee at Starbucks shouldn’t need to worry about their every move being recorded by civilians (and Google) who then own the material and can post it or use it in whatever way they please. Especially when it comes to recording minors or other vulnerable groups (or taking video in public bathrooms or dressing rooms), Google Glass could violate privacy in new ways.