DPAs query privacy aspects of Google Glass

DPAs have sent a letter to Google inviting the company to provide further information about Google Glass. The letter, sent by Canada’s Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart, and signed on behalf of the Article 29 Working Party by Chairman Jacob Kohnstamm, urges Google to engage in a dialogue with the DPAs about how to confront the ethical issues raised by Google Glass. The DPAs, including those from Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Switzerland, and Israel, are concerned about the following aspects:

• How does Google Glass comply with data protection laws?
• What are the privacy safeguards Google and application developers are putting in place?
• What information does Google collect via Glass and what information is shared with third parties, including application developers?
• How does Google intend to use this information?
• While DPAs understand that Google has decided not to include facial recognition in Glass, how does Google intend to address the specific issues around facial recognition in the future?
• Is Google doing anything about the broader social and ethical issues raised by such a product, for example, the surreptitious collection of information about other individuals?
• Has Google undertaken any privacy risk assessment the outcomes of which it would be willing to share?
• Would Google be willing to demonstrate the device to DPAs and allow any interested data protection authorities to test it?

The letter was sent on 18 June to Larry Page, Chief Executive Officer at Google Inc.