Facebook glasses get their first warning: Data Protection organizations warn against recording people without their knowledge
The big problem with Google Glass was that they did not notify other people when this device was recording. To avoid repeating this problem, the Ray-Ban Stories, Facebook’s smart glasses, add an LED light in the corner of the frame that turns on when the device is recording.
Nevertheless, This addition does not seem to completely convince the competent authorities in Data Protections, which have already sent the first warnings to Facebook regarding privacy.
Ireland and Italy express their doubts about Facebook glasses
In Spain the new Facebook glasses are not available and because of this, the Spanish Data Protection Agency (AEPD) has not ruled on the matter. Yes, the ‘Irish DPC’ and the ‘Garante per la protezione dei dati personali’, the Irish and Italian Data Protection organizations, have done so, two of the European countries where Ray-Ban Stories have been released.
In a statement, the agencies explain that they are “concerned about the media by which the people captured in the videos and photos can receive a notice that they are being recorded“.
The agencies argue that smartphones can also record third parties, but it is the case that the phone is visible in that case, while the indicator light is very small.
The main argument is that it has not been proven to Data Protection that exhaustive tests have been carried out in the field to ensure that the indicator light is an effective means of warning. And in this regard, these agencies ask Facebook to show the studies and the demonstration that this LED light is enough to alert people and that it is not a method to record others in an unnoticed way.
Although other smart glasses such as Snap have been presented in the past, they did not generate a privacy notice from the authorities. Neither have the recent Xiaomi glasses, although these are currently a prototype.
In spite of everything, these notices will apply not only to Facebook glasses, but also to all smart glasses with camera. A new type of device that technology manufacturers are beginning to show and that has yet to prove that they are not another step in the invasion of our privacy.