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Australian privacy law could cause problems for Google Glass

Down Under won't allow filming on the down low
Mon Mar 31 2014, 11:56
Google Glass is now available in the UK for 1000

AUSTRALIANS COULD FACE problems using Google Glass if the country passes a proposed privacy law.

A report in the Australian Financial Review details plans for a law to prevent invasion of privacy, which would include the recording of individuals without their express consent.

Up until now, the practice has not been illegal in the country, apart from New South Wales, which has already passed a regional privacy law.

The law, part of a raft of changes designed to accommodate advancements in technology, could spell trouble for Google Glass as it is capable of recording video and audio without being obvious to those within its field of view. Other wearables such as the Autographer camera and even some smartphone apps might also be affected.

Offenders would not be fined but courts could order damages for victims. Barbara McDonald, a professor of law at the University of Syndey said, "A mobile phone could be used as a surveillance device as well to record a private conversation or record a private activity without consent; it could be set up in a way that's recording, so we already have the concept that wearable items that are in ubiquitous use do have the potential to carry out what would be unauthorised surveillance."

Google Glass is already causing controversy in the US where restaurants have started to ban its use, and a man was recently accosted by FBI agents for wearing his device in a cinema, where he was accused of making a 'pirated' version of the film he watched.

Google responded to the news by saying, "Whenever we have a disruptive technology it will promote and provoke debate in the same way there's a social fabric around how you should use your mobile phone. We don't want to force a consumer product on people without understanding what they're worried about and whether we could look at ways to mitigate that from a user's perspective."

Government agents will be exempt from the privacy law if Australia adopts it, with another exemption for investigative journalists attempting to uncover illegal or immoral activity. µ

 

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