Google Glass really freaks some people out. Those people are understandably concerned that those wearing Glass could be secretly recording their every move. There are some obstacles programmed into Glass to prevent this, but it might not be for long.
ZDNet reports that a hacker by the name of Jay Freeman has already jailbroken Glass. The jailbroken Glass can be used to bypass a number of obstacles that prevent Glass from becoming the surveillance tool of the future.
The big thing is that hackers can remove all indication that Glass is recording video. In the vanilla OS, Glass will show the video as it’s recording on the glass prism above the eye. If a person was close enough, they could tell that Glass was recording video. Freeman says that Glass’ OS can be modified to remove this so that you can record video while everybody is none the wiser.
Of course, you couldn’t record minutes of footage as the current Glass only allows video recordings of up to 10 seconds. Oh wait, that’s controlled by the OS as well so you could bypass that limitation to allow unlimited video recording. Glass only has 12.5GB of embedded flash memory though so there’s not much space for video.
That’s where Freeman starts to get creative. He says you can modify Glass to take a picture every 30 seconds while recording low bit rate audio. It takes up much less storage than HD video, but provides what is essentially the same information. Freeman speculates such tactics could be used for corporate espionage or for planning robberies.
Should you be afraid of Google Glass, especially after all of this has come to light? The short answer is no. The long answer is that Google Glass is just a tool, and like any other tool can be used for good or evil. It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be cautious though. Bars, strip clubs and other establishments that make it a priority to protect customer privacy have an obligation to prevent Glass and other recording equipment from being used on their premises.
It should be noted that we’re still in the infancy of Google Glass. Google may lock down the consumer versions of Glass to prevent unwarranted surveillance on a massive scale. We’ll find out in about a year when Google Glass finally launches.[Image: Stop the Cyborgs]