Google Glass has been attracting the attention of the authorities recently – in Wyoming a bill has been proposed to ban Google Glass while driving and in Ohio a man was escorted from a movie theatre by Federal police under piracy suspicions related to his Google Glass. Yet in New York Google Glass has been attracting a different form of attention from the authorities, more specifically VentureBeat reports the New York City Police Department is trialling Google Glass for its officers.
“We signed up, got a few pairs of the Google glasses, and we’re trying them out, seeing if they have any value in investigations, mostly for patrol purposes,” a ranking New York City law enforcement official told VentureBeat. “We think it could help impact patrol operations in New York City. We shall see…”
At a time when Google is trying to disassociate itself from American authorities and law enforcement Google probably isn’t too happy about the news NYPD is trialling their Glass. When questioned about whether Google provided the NYPD with Google Glass units for testing Google told VentureBeat that:
“The Google Glass Explorer program includes people from all walks of life, including doctors, firefighters and parents. Anyone can sign up to become a Glass Explorer, provided he or she is a U.S. resident and over the age of 18.”
Chief Information officer of the San Francisco police department, Susan Merritt, showed similar interest saying the application of Google Glass to law enforcement is potentially huge.
Google Glass could be used to run facial recognition scans, record real time encounters to eliminate the need for written reports and access criminal databases to perform checks in real time. Of course the flip side of the coin is that Google Glass could be a violation of the rights of innocent citizens. It could also be used as a way for American authorities to conduct more mass surveillance, using data harvested by officers wearing Google Glass to build huge databases of audio and visual information that would allow for facial and voice recognition of everyone they come into contact with.
What are your thoughts about American police using Google Glass?
Image courtesy of Thomas Halleck / IBTimes