With all the security and privacy concerns surrounding Google Glass, if there’s one government agency we thought would be all over the cybernetic eyewear, it’s law enforcement. Doesn’t come as much of a surprise for us to find out the NYPD has already begun experimenting with the wearable for “patrol purposes”. No, this isn’t a publicity stunt for the upcoming Robocop reboot; cops from the NYPD are actually being outfitted with Google Glass.
Apparently, the NYPD only have a few pairs at their disposal (Glass doesn’t come cheap, after all) with the most obvious use case scenario is for officers having the ability to record audio/video during investigations or interactions with suspects or the public. The NYPD envisions a future where they’d be able to walk into a room — like Robocop — pulling up information like arrest warrants about anyone in their field of view. Sounds pretty neat, but also a little scary.
Before anyone freaks out, let’s be clear: Google is not working with law enforcement. The NYPD was clear in how they acquired Google Glass, via the same Glass Explorer program that is open to agencies, doctors, firefighters or stay at home moms. Also worth noting is Google strictly prohibits facial recognition software under Glass’ terms of service, something we covered in a previous post detailing “creepy” new Glassware that pulls up your online identity by scanning your face. Of course, the NYPD would develop their own Glassware for pulling up police records and such, distributing it internally.
While civil liberty groups are, no doubt, already drafting up their complaints, we’re curious to hear your thoughts. Do Glass equipped cops make you feel a tad uncomfortable? Or is it possible Google’s wearable could provide added accountability for law enforcement officials, similar to the now standard vehicle mounted camera system already in place?