Mr. Larry Page
Chief Executive Officer
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, California
Dear Mr. Page:
We are writing to you as data protection authorities to raise questions from a privacy
, which is currently in beta testing and not yet available to the general public.
As you have undoubtedly noticed, Google Glass has been the subject of many articles that
device that can be worn by an individual and used to film and record audio of other people.
Fears of ubiquitous surveillance of individuals by other individuals, whether through such
recordings or through other applications currently being developed, have been raised.
Questions about Google’s collection of such data and what it means in terms of Google’s
As you may recall, data protection authorities have long emphasized the need for
launched. Many of us have also encouraged organizations to consult in a meaningful way with
our respective offices.
To date, what information we have about Google Glass, how it operates, how it could be
media reports, which contain a great deal of speculation, as well
as Google’s own publicizing of
For example, our understanding is that during the beta testing of the product, Google has
. These limits appear to be largely related to advertising within Glass. If this is indeed the
case, we think this is a positive first step in identifying privacy issues, but it is only a first step
and the only one we are aware of.
in this area, the first to test your product “in the wild” so to speak, and the first to confront the
ethical issues that such a product entails. To date, however, most of the data protection
authorities listed below have not been approached by your company to discuss any of these
issues in detail.
For our part, we would strongly urge Google to engage in a real dialogue with data
The questions we would like to raise include:
How does Google Glass comply with data protection laws?
What are the privacy safeguards Google and application developers are putting in
What information does Google collect via Glass and what information is shared with
How does Google intend to use this information?
While we 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
Has Google undertaken any privacy risk assessment the outcomes of which it would
Would Google be willing to demonstrate the device to our offices and allow any
We are aware that these questions relate to issues that fall squarely within our purview
wearable computing. Nevertheless, we feel it is important for us to raise all of these concerns.
We would be very interested in hearing about the privacy implications of this new product and
the steps you are taking to ensure that, as you move forward with Google Glass, individuals’
privacy rights are respected around the world. We look forward to responses to these questions
and to a meeting to discuss the privacy issues raised by Google Glass.
… / 3
Alfonso Orñate Laborde
Original signed by
… / 4
Android Operating System powers Google Glass, and third-party applications are currently being built for
Glass. To access Glass, a user needs a Google account.