Attorney General Jepsen Asks Google for Meeting,
Information on Glass Privacy Concerns
Attorney General George Jepsen has asked Google to address concerns related to the company’s new head-mounted computing and recording device, Glass, and the potential impact the device may have on the privacy of Connecticut residents.
In a letter sent this past Monday to Google’s chief executive officer, Attorney General Jepsen noted that Google has acknowledged that “new technology always raises new issues” and said, while Glass is not yet available to the general public, it is an appropriate time to commence a dialogue about the product and its implications for the privacy of both users and non-users.
“Despite mounting concern among privacy advocates,” the Attorney General wrote, “there is very little available information regarding the types of data that will be collected through this technology from either users or non-users. Nor, to my knowledge, has Google yet publicly revealed whether or how it intends to disclose privacy risks, obtain consent for the collection of data or otherwise minimize or address issues.”
Attorney General Jepsen requested a meeting with Google to discuss concerns surrounding Glass including:
• When Glass will be made available to Connecticut consumers for purchase.
• What the terms of the company’s announced restriction on facial recognition capabilities are and what “strong privacy protections” will be required before permitting facial recognition applications or capabilities.
• Whether Glass will have eye-tracking capabilities.
• Whether Google will allow consumers to store data on the device itself and how any stored information will be safeguarded should it be lost or stolen.
• What information Glass will collect from users and non-users and if Google will obtain consent to collect such information.
While Attorney General Jepsen is the first state attorney general to address privacy concerns raised by Glass, his letter follows a request for information by members of the Privacy Caucus of the United States House of Representatives.
Assistant Attorney General Matthew Fitzsimmons, head of the Attorney General’s Privacy Task Force, is assisting the Attorney General with this matter.
Jaclyn M. Falkowski